Ageism or Sageism?

Sep 23, 2013 | Uncategorized

The question for today:  How to impart wisdom to those following behind without sounding like a know it all 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.  I’ll save the next big blow out for the Diamond Jubilee.  My challenge for this year is to actually keep this blog going.   So today we begin.

The subtitle is “Alternative to being a senior citizen”.  By that I mean that I want to encourage people to think differently about being a “senior citizen”.  My preferred term in “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 important 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 mores are very accurate.  As we progressed through the series (we are now in season 5, set in 1965) I realize that the show represents my adult years.  I was 19 the year the show begins and now we have reached my early married years.  The question my friends ask is “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, the civil rights bill and saw the effects of Title 9 on women’s athletics.  I sold bracelets for fund raising for the Equal Rights Amendment and I met in women’s “consciousness raising” groups.

I hope the next generations continue to build on what we have accomplished.  I hope they don’t just want to discover it all themselves.  I would like 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?

 

Karin Quirk

 

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