Ageism or Sageism? (From the archives of “Not Your Grandmother’s 70,” 2013)

Oct 25, 2022 | inspiration, life, sage wisdom

The question for today: How to impart wisdom to those following behind without sounding like a know-it grumpy old person.

I started this blog when I celebrated my 70th birthday. My challenge for the BIG birthday was a two-week trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. My birthday cake is the cover photo. Today I have another birthday. A little more quiet this year. My challenge for this year is actually to keep this blog going. So today, we begin.

The subtitle is “Alternative to being a senior citizen.” I mean that I want to encourage people to think differently about being a “senior citizen.” My preferred term is “Sage.” Being a sage means passing on your wisdom to the next generation. My challenge is understanding the difference between being a sage and just a batty-babbling old lady. What is essential to pass on? What wisdom do I impart?

Each generation wants to find its own way, but does that mean they are unwilling to learn from the past? I hope not. I have been watching Mad Men with a neighbor. We started with season one, which was set in 1960. The furniture, clothing, and more are very accurate. As we progressed through the series (we are now in season 5, set in 1965), I realized that the show represents my adult years. I was 19 the year the show began, and now we have reached my early married years. My friends ask, “Was it really like that?” Yes, yes, it was.

Yes, when I came to Little Rock Air Force Base in 1962, the local department store did have a “white ladies rest room.” Yes, women had to ask their husband’s permission to do anything, and you could not have your own bank account. Career? OK, as long as you are a teacher, a nurse, or a secretary. (I was a teacher.)

I lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, both Kennedy assassinations, the march on Washington, and the civil rights bill. I saw the effects of Title 9 on women’s athletics. I sold bracelets for the Equal Rights Amendment fundraising and met in women’s “consciousness-raising” groups.

I want to be an active voice of the past, helping people — men and women — find their way in the world and helping us build a brighter future.

Will you join me on this voyage of discovery? I hope future generations continue to build on what we have accomplished. I hope they don’t just want to discover it all themselves.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *