Merging The Enthusiasm Of Today’s Youth With The Wisdom Of Our Elders

Ageism isn’t confined to adults over 50.

I am very proud that Stacie asked me to contribute to this new venture and offer my musing on ageism in the workplace and beyond.

By the time you read this article, I will have reached the age of 70, and feel proud to do so. Several classmates, friends and family have not. I work full time within the insurance industry with a concentration on cyber insurance and plan to continue to do so.

I also work within the industry as a continuing education instructor, which I have done for several years.

As you read this you are picturing a grey-haired, hearing-aid enabled woman with a shawl over her shoulders struggling to understand today’s youth and their aversion to loyalty, demand for a remote work lifestyle, and ability to understand AI (artificial intelligence). To those of us in the business for more than five years, AI means additional insured. This is how fast it changes.

And there are days when I look exactly as you are picturing me. The shawl comes on and off depending on the temperature in the building, which is controlled by people much younger than I with a whole different thermostat than I have.

Your thermostat does change as you are getting older as my 83 year old husband will attest as he is always cold. The thermostat in our house is set at a constant 76 degrees.

But ageism isn’t confined to adults over 50. A presidential candidate posted today that he is happy that he turned 38, because people said he was too young to run for President at 37. We have pre-conceived notions on many topics as we become adults, mostly because of what we learned during our youth from our elders.

I find myself repeating things my parents and grandparents used to say. There are “ageism” phrases for all ages.

“Keep crying and I will give you something to cry about!” Remember that at age 5?

“You look like a French tootsie!” At age l5. I wondered how my Dad knew what one looked like. He was

never in France.

“Till death do us part.” That didn’t work with the first one. Looks like it might with the second.

“There is no room for romance in the workplace.” Someone didn’t read Cosmopolitan.

“All I want for my birthday is peace and quiet.” I understand that now, Mom.

“DEI, ESG, WFH and toxic employees.” And toxic workplaces.

“Return to work.” Who stopped working?

“It’s hell to get old.” Things do start to wear-out.

I hope to be able to point out the good and bad of ageism at all ages. We need to merge the enthusiasm of today’s youth along with the wisdom of our elders. There is a lot to cover in this topic. From bobby-socks, to botox.

I should be able to contribute for a while.

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