Jul 07 2017
Ageism, the cultural diminishment of aging and elderhood, is a disease just as real as pneumonia or cancer. Instead of attacking our bodies, ageism infects our minds, hearts, and souls. Ageism renders us ill in spirit. Here is where ageism damages us most- in the ways we see, think, and feel about ourselves as we become more chronologically endowed.
Ageism is a virulent social contagion that is carried unconsciously by us all, varying only by the degree of infection we carry. We catch the disease of ageism from each other, from the media, and seemingly from the air we breathe… everywhere! The unseen demon of ageism takes up residence within us. Ageism invades our very personality.
Ageism twists our perceptions of ourselves and others. When we look in the mirror do we first see God’s child, or do we first search for any new wrinkles?
Ageism clouds our thoughts. Is our thinking about ourselves more directed by our chronological age, by our past achievements, by our relationships with others, or more by our relationship with God? What role does our age play in our thinking?
Ageism distorts our feelings. We may outwardly show pride about our age; we may even wear our age as a badge of honor. But such outward displays may mask deeper feelings of emotional exhaustion, personal insufficiency, dependency, fear, sorrow, guilt, or fundamental inadequacy. Each of these emotions generates tendencies toward harmful behaviors.
The more we define ourselves by a number (age) the more vulnerable we become to the internal personality ravages of the disease of ageism.
In next week’s blog I’ll offer some ways of overcoming the disease of ageism. Until then please stay light and be bright in the delight of agelessness.