This blog borrows heavily from the Changing Aging website (www.changingaging.org) and a May, 2015 blog by Alexa Elheart, who I’m concluding is a young woman who wants we oldsters to shape up a little. I did some heavy-duty editing of the original blog but her main points are worth thinking about…
Alexa writes…”Many older people feel embarrassed to reveal their true ages. The truth is society has it completely backwards, Getting older is actually the best part of life! Don’t believe me?” She raises three considerations….
1) You Have Better Social Skills?
Alex believes, “As people age, social skills increase. In a study conducted in 2010 at the University of Michigan, 200 people were given “Dear Abby”-style letters asking for advice. Researchers found that “subjects in their 60s were better than younger ones at imagining different points of view, thinking of multiple resolutions and suggesting compromises.” Dear Alexa. “I think we may need a few more illustrations here but the concept is rather heartening.”
2) You Gain Perspective?
Alexa says, “Another great part of getting older is realizing what’s most important and what you don’t really need to spend time worrying about.” She cites Oprah Winfrey’s comments, “Recognizing the time that you wasted and the things that you worried about that really didn’t matter…that’s really the hardest part, that’s really the only regret that I have.” Alex agrees with Oprah, “When you’re young, you tend to give yourself an inordinate amount of stress, However, as you get older and have the luxury of looking back on your experiences , you can start to see the unnecessary pressure you may have put on yourself.” Fair point Alexa–but there may be other perspectives than just Oprah’s on this topic. Hope my response to your blog is not a stressor.
3) You Have the Opportunity to Give Back?
Alexa says, “While there are some twenty somethings who have the means to contribute substantially to their communities, the majority of people in their twenties don’t have that privilege–whether that’s due to a lack of funds or an inflexible work schedule. However, when you get older and find yourself with a much more stable lifestyle, both professionally and economically, it becomes less prohibitive to donate money, time or talent to your community. Alexa challenges older folks to “Go on–take your superior social skills, perspective, and sense of community and make the world a better place! You have amazing and unique things to offer, and your experiences really have the capability to improve the world around you.”
I say to Alexa. “You can contribute at any age–you did by posting your blog. What’s next? Make it good.”