Age and the age-ist world

Race and gender continue to be hot topics for debate, and their respective causes need to be written about and proclaimed from mountain tops. We need to educate the world, we need to judge less and love more.

A more difficult cause to get behind is age-ism. We persecute the young confining them in schools where they are forced to sit for long hours and try to persuade them that their worth is encapsulated in their grades that the gain on standardized tests.

When they are in college we barrage them with more knowledge and train them up to do things that aren’t needed in the ‘real’ world. We won’t hire them without experience.

And then they get too old. We won’t hire them because they are at pregnancy age, or you calculate that they can only give 10 years to your company rather than 30 (secrete: the younger will probably only give you 2 years, and the older is a safer bet, but that is pretty age-ist of me to say).

Then they get even older. They regress, retire, need care and what do we do?

I guess this is a way of saying: ‘life sucks’ but what I actually mean is that you are never ever too young to do something, nor are you too old to start something. Again, while reading Amanda Palmer’s book, the bit that was the most inspirational to me was one of the first sentences she wrote.

I’m thirty-eight. I started my first band, The Dresden Dolls, when I was twenty-five, and didn’t put out my first major-label record until I was twenty-eight, which is, in the eyes of the traditional music industry, a geriatric age at which to debut.

Those who get their PhDs usually finish sometime in their early 30s meaning until then they are living the perpetual life of a student and only afterwards do they begin a semblance of ‘adult’ life. The official age for a geriatric mother has been pushed back to more than 37.

I am 28. Will be 29 next month. Its not too late to start something–and that is my plan, so watch out. When I am 60, it is still not too late to find and capture a new dream. It is only society which limits us. This ‘lack of experience’ amuses me because from the moment you are alive you gain experiences. I know how to learn, how to think, so I can do anything.

Where is the pessimist today? Not here.

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