ageism: a new word for an old problem

I’ve got age on my mind.  

Here are some contributing factors: yesterday was my 28th birthday; Tim Challies posted on ageism; I recently met some delightful elderly ladies at church that made me reflect on what it would be like to have outlived your husband and have grown children far-away.

So here are my raw 28-year-old (probably immature) thoughts on age:

1) Ages 30-65 sound great.  I’m looking forward to being all those ages.  Any older than that, I get nervous about whether I’ll be useful and/or if I’ll be alone.  

2) Once people hit a certain age (it’s different for everyone, depending on how slowly or quickly they age) many younger people cease to see them as people.   When they look at them they just see “old.”

3) Cultivating relationships between the elderly and children is vital for both parties.  

4) Cultivating relationships between middle-aged people and the elderly is also vital.

5) How I treat the elderly people around me, and how I take care of my parents when they age, will probably determine how my kids take care of me someday.  (And I really don’t want to be in a nursing home, alone.)

6) The pressure on the elderly to stay “independent” is ridiculous.  Even if they are independent, why not move them in with family so that they don’t have to be alone?  

7) Dementia must be a horribly scary thing to face.  I hope and pray I never have to do it.  

8) Youth has been extended to complete silliness (from the teens to the 20’s, now even the 30’s).  By rights, I should still be single and discovering myself.  Instead I’ve been married for coming on 7 years and have three children.  I feel blessed, not bitter.

9)  Youth is often wasted with self-indulgence.  Why must youth be synonymous with self-focus?  The time when bodies and minds are at their peak should be the time of the greatest physical and mental service to the body of Christ.  Youth should be useful too.

10) Age and wisdom do not always go hand in hand, but we should generally assume that they do, and young people should be taught to listen listen listen to the elderly around them.

11) I fear for the elderly in our society.  A nation that doesn’t value life at its beginning will not value it at its ending.  History proves this.  And I think nationalizing health care will be a step toward limiting the amount of care that will be deemed worthy for elderly to receive.

I’m thankful for shining examples of godly service-minded youth and for shining examples of godly gracious and wise elderly around me.  I pray that as I age, wisdom will increase and that as my children grow, youth will be an opportunity for service, not self-indulgence.

3 thoughts on “ageism: a new word for an old problem

  1. Excellent post! I think so often the elderly are overlooked and we think they don’t care as much just because they’re older or in a nursing home. They’re just like us with a few more years on them.

    I forget how I came across this blog, but I like it!

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