Dave Stewart, the founder of Ageist Magazine, recently wrote an article about ageism and what we need to do about it. Ageism, like any ‘ism’, comes from a place of fear, and sometimes it’s our own. He recommends we do something to outmaneuver society’s negative view on aging and live better and longer lives ourselves. Ageism is complex. Age is progressively changeable. We will never change our race whereas our age, and how we feel about our age, is constantly changing.
Not all ageism comes from younger people either. We in the older cohort have the same capacity to stereotype our own people.
Here are Stewart’s ten “face-to-face solutions” for fighting ageism in ourselves and others.
I prefer to think of them as strategies for living a joyful life at any age.
- Smile. In fact, smile a lot. People like to be around happy people no matter what their age. Enjoy your moment and others will want to be there with you.
- Be fearless. Try new experiences constantly.
- Hold your space. Don’t use age as your excuse, ever. You can learn and achieve as well as everyone else. You are not a victim and you are not mentally incapacitated.
- Say yes. If you are in a yes mindset, you are in a transformative mindset.
- Be curious about the other person. Ask all sorts of questions. Care about them.
- Understand that you may be scaring the others. This is particularly true in work situations. Be very careful of playing the experience card.
- Elevate and cheer all those around you. Focus on helping, not taking.
- Don’t be lazy. Just because you are of a certain age, it does not give you an expected right to “take your comfort.” That is called being lazy.
- Pay attention to the world around you. It is not 1970, or 80, or 90 anymore. Engage with today.
- Be confident that your time has not passed. In fact, you may even have a considerable runway in front of you.