SUSAN FARLING was a guest in our CONSCIOUS AGEING show.
You don’t have to be old to be a victim of ageism.
Ageism is the lens through which we see people: either someone is “too young” or “too old”, rarely “just right” in terms of AGE and this can vary from one moment to the other dependent on the context of the situation. I am sure you have met many of those moments where you were told such a verdict: Teens are too young to have a bank account but too old for playing with dolls or toy cars.
In our times in which pretty soon for every younger person there are 2 people over 60 the topic AGEISM becomes ever more important because older people will be the clear majority and it depends a lot on them how they are treated in society.
How to live in and with an ageing body in an ageist society becomes a crucial question. Or maybe better: how to transform an ageist society in a society which respects and values AGE, any age, any person of any age.
The problem which we all are facing is not so much the ageism which we face by means of other people treating us badly, but more severely the internalised ageism, the way we treat ourselves, at any age, referring our identity to our age. We need to change our ways of looking at ourselves by means of age – or better by attributing to our age (which actually is just a fact) certain qualities or defects which we then use to determine our value. Sure, we have learned how to do that from childhood on and it has become a habit. But then, as older people, we complain about the missing consideration for people like us by younger people. BUT
Stop being ageist yourself, towards yourself and towards others!
Notice how you use the lens of age to judge yourself and others – and then stop doing it. Don’t complain about others, but become a good example of someone who is deeply respecting themselves, with all the flaws and imperfections, with smooth or wrinkled skin, with feeling well in your body or with a painful experience. Stop saying: this is because I am over 40, 50, 60, whatever. Your age has little to do with how you live your life, with your attitude and if you feel yourself burdened or blessed. independent of what is actually happening in your everyday life.
Watching the video above, our conversation with Susan Farling, you will find explanations of what I am addressing here and encouragement to go a different route when you see the numbers increase of your years on this earth. If you feel inspired or have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Susan or us Heidi & Mark via contact form
Also published on Medium.