It’s always been fascinating to me how society has a tendency to treat one of its greatest assets, older people, as a liability. Why do we fear the aging process so much? Think about it for a second. We spend our entire lives acquiring skills, having experiences and, hopefully, finding wisdom.
Then, as we reach our 60s, our value seems to decline in the eyes of others. For example, a recent report showed that women’s careers tend to stop progressing at the ridiculously young age of 45. What a waste!
Of course, not every culture treats older people the same way. But, generally speaking, it’s clear that most countries do not respect their elders to the degree that they should – nor do they expect enough from them, in my opinion.
In a recent speech, Pope Francis talked about the important role that older people should play in society. He encouraged older people to be role models and share their wisdom with the world. Now, Pope Francis may be 78-years-old, but, his comments apply to everyone over 60.
For starters, if you are in your 50s or 60s, perhaps it’s time to take a look at your own opinions about aging. Are there older people in your family or community that you would like to reach out to more?
Perhaps they have a thing or two to teach you about getting the most from life after 60 – after all, they’ve already been there!
Now may also be a good time to think about your future.
If you are in your 60s today, you probably have at least 20-30 more years to spend on this planet. How do you want to spend this time?
Do you want to accept the role that society all too often pushes on older people? Or, do you want to get in amazing shape, follow your passions, share your wisdom and change the world?
Giving back is one of the best ways to increase your happiness at any age. I hope that you will take this opportunity to think about the contribution that you want to make.
What do you think about the way that older people are treated in your country? Does your culture, generally speaking, respect and appreciate its elders? What goals do you have for yourself in the coming decades? How do you see your contribution to the world unfolding? Please join the discussion.