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Challenging ageism

I recently read the article "Ageism is everywhere — here's what we can do about it" and found it to be eye opening. Growing older is such a privilege, my Dad died at 46 and never got to grow old. I am embracing every candle on the birthday cake. Here are a few quotes from the article that resonated with me.

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"Challenging ageism means getting people to pay closer attention to messages they’ve been hearing all their lives."

“Ageism is a thing, just like racism and sexism, and it’s been under the radar for, well, forever,” said Todd D. Nelson, a psychologist at California State University. While researching the psychology of prejudice in general, Nelson noticed the scarcity of information about ageism. So he published a book: “Ageism: Stereo­typing and Prejudice Against Older Persons.”

“In my writing, I ask the very simple question: Why are we hiding that we’re getting older?” Nelson said. “It implies we’re ashamed of getting older, that it’s bad to get older. It’s so deeply embedded in our culture.”

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Sally Brown agrees that people must change their mind-sets. “Embrace age as a natural process that begins at birth and continues throughout life,” she said. Remember that everybody gets older every day, and those who get to be old are the lucky ones.

Consider your own responses to ageist language or behavior — do you laugh politely at an ageist joke or point out that it’s problematic? Brown endorses challenging ageism when you encounter it. At the very least, don’t be complicit — don’t repeat the joke!

 

 

 

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