I just finished reading Ageism Unmasked—Exploring Age Bias and How to End It, a recent book by Tracy Gendron, chair of the Department of Gerontology at Virginia Commonwealth University. It was insightful and instructive.
And it made me wonder if I am an ageist.
Have I bought birthday cards that reinforce negative stereotypes of ageing? (Are there any that don’t?) Have I contributed to the anti-ageing market (whatever that is)? Yes, I have bought skin creams and toners, yet years ago, my young grandson said, “Grammy, why is your neck wrinkled like a skeleton?” Still, I use them.
The other day I was chatting with a contemporary while waiting for an elevator. A workman in the building walked by. “How are you doing girls?” he said. I didn’t respond but maybe next time I’ll try “Just fine sonny”.
Gendron reminds us that from the moment of our birth, we are old-people-in-training.
We have a lot to learn.