I recently attended a seminar on ageism. Most of the speakers and audience were working people, generally in their 40's and 50's. So much of the discussion centred on whether old dogs can still learn new tricks, can cope with change, especially changes in technology, and keep up with the young pups.
Finally it became all too much for me and, as fortune would have it, I got the final word for the seminar.
My 'speech' was along these lines:
- I am 73 years of age, still running my own business, managing a comprehensive website, using social media for my business, loving being on the edge of change and enjoying being creative
- most in the audience would have no idea what life is like in one's 60's, let alone 70's because they aren't there yet
- all of them would have been told by their children that they are 'old'
- all of them would agree they have a fuller perspective on life now than they did 20 years ago, have learned more, are more experienced and generally better able to cope with life, and have greater mental capacity and dexterity
- it's all a matter of perspective.
My message drew strong applause, some verbal backslapping and requests for my business card.
I could best summarize their reaction as being one of relief - a sense of 'I want to be having what he's having when I reach his age'. I had verbalised their hopes that longevity isn't just living longer but about enjoying a sense of purpose and identity for many more years to come.