AGEISM- A TWO WAY STREET

THE GREAT DIVIDE

This Hub is prompted from a so called humorous homily, written by an aged American and posted by my son"s mother in law. Now one of the big drawbacks of e-mail, it seems to me is that everybody and his wife seems determined to pass on to all and sundry, jokes, tales and homilies, that they consider important to share with others. I happen to have a brother in law who has no comic timing, nor an adult developed sense of humour, {he used to work in Banking}. It is bad enough, when with him to have to have recounted the last 10 or so, mostly unfunny, jokes his friends have sent to him. The Internet and the text message have replaced the old "Bumper Fun Book" of yesteryear and not for the better in my personal view. Today, everyone it seems is a comedian, and whilst it is agony to hear someone stumble through a jolly jape or two, it is, again in my view, even worse when they invade you through cyberspace. Message to all who know me, DO NOT SEND SO CALLED FUNNY TALES TO ME PLEASE !

HOWEVER, THAT ABOVE IS PURELY BACKGROUND TO WHAT I BELIEVE IS A MORE SENSITIVE MATTER RAISED IN THE MISSIVE PASSED ON BY THE LADY IN QUESTION.

Like me, she is no longer in the first flush of youth and as such, has ,as we all have, some quite strong and embittered views. The old problem of YOUTH v AGE is clearly an issue that exercises her mind. This recent tale highlights that very clearly. Before explaining it, perhaps I should state here that the U K has over recent times focused upon the way in which some "oldsters" ,mainly female, have been ousted from TV positions in favour of younger, more pleasing on the eye to some, ladies. The old debates on experience being more important than "beauty" have raged. The cry of "AGEISM" echoes across the land, mainly from those themselves no longer young. Of course there is "unfairness" in some decisions but those moved on would do well to remember that when first appointed it was their youth and looks that got them in. Ageism is indeed a two way street, but I sense the older people often do not see it that way.

To return now to that missive that landed on my e-mail page. Without going through the whole dreary, unfunny and badly argued theme, it basically set out to try to put down young people and to praise the older generation and their journey through life. The gist of it was that the young checkout girl had suggested to an older customer, the benefits to the planet of having a bag for groceries that could be re-used and that it was "The Green Thing To Do". It was that that prompted the tedious tirade that formed the nature of the message received.

The old timer took us all on a trip through his/her/ our life/lives recalling how things were and how they are now. For example, people used to walk for exercise not use treadmills, used washable nappies, not paper ones, pushed their lawnmowers, put ink in there pens, took buses or rode bikes to get fro m A to B, and dried washing on lines not in dryers..Now there was a load more but I trust you get the drift. Essentially, in the old days things were better because they were harder and we did not need ,as a result, to think of "The Green Thing". The underlying principle being that the young do not know anything that amounts to a row of beans.

THE GREAT DIVIDE.

Now I take exception to that type of stance for it harps on to the premise that things were never as good as when the pontificater was young. I sent my relative a message, as she clearly espoused this view, simply saying that centuries ago we lived in caves, an it must have been some "young whipper snapper" who determined that there was a better way to live. He or she probably determined that as they were inventing the wheel! It is indeed the young and not the old who take up the challenge and over generations have proved that PROGRESS IS BASED ON CHANGE. Older people now, were exactly the same when they were themselves young and took on the challenges they faced. It is right that the pacesetters of one era, step aside for the next wave as they get older, but wrong if they compare generally the new young as inferior.

In every generation there is good, bad and excellent and it has always been so. We see many young people on our TV screens behaving unacceptably, but we delude ourselves if we believe that in our youth some did not do likewise. Equally, we produced our share of visionaries etc, as will the current youth. Everything changes but remains the same in essence. However, lest any other person feels the need to send me unwanted tales via the Internet, let me make it clear that I have no intention of falling into the great divide. The old should encourage the young, not seek to snipe at them. If they so do, then they should not be surprised if the young ignore them, and as we all know who are older, the worst thing you can do to us is to ignore us!

More by this Author


Click to Rate This Article
working