I recently attended an interview for a job I wanted to take up post-retirement. The panel of interviewers comprised of young folks half my age. The session was going along well when one of them asked, ‘May we know your age?’ and immediately I was flustered. I blurted out, ‘I am a youthful and energetic 61’ in response. Mistake? Definitely! The fact that I needed to couch my age with adjectives that contradicted the number, says so much about how even Seniors are guilty of ageism, influenced as they are by the rules of the society, we live in.
The underlying cause why many of us in this age bracket tend to detach from the number that signifies the decades we’ve spent on this planet is a fear that it indicates being past one’s prime; a difficult reality to accept. Many considerations are shown to us that drive home the fact that we need favours- banks offer additional interest, airlines cut ticket costs, buses have special seats and other discounts abound. These are welcome since most are subtle and allude to us as Seniors deserving the attention.
Very often, however, people are guilty of inadvertent ageism. I’ve been told, ‘You are so active, at your age’. Or, ‘Hey, you’re carrying off that outfit meant for a younger person, with such confidence.’ Also, constantly being offered a chair out of deference to my years!! Try joining a gym and tell the personal trainer your age. He will immediately plan a routine suited to a person with aching joints, a weak spine and atrophied muscles. Tell him that you’ve just completed a 5K marathon and his eyebrows will disappear into his hair, more in disbelief than surprise. We are expected to ‘act’ our age. I want to remind the youngsters that WisGen possess as much strength, endurance, mental agility, and fortitude as wisdom and experience. I find that I often run up the stairs at work while the 20-somethings patiently wait for the lift. I drive my car, play boisterous games with my grandson, love to dance and walk 5kms every day. Boastful? You bet!
WisGen is a force to reckon with. WisdomCircle affords this group of enthusiastic and vigorous people opportunities to make a difference in a workplace of their choosing. They bring a font of knowledge and oodles of experience to the table and they will excel at their roles with flair.