NROP: You are just too old.

The community I grew up in held their eldest in high regard. From a young age, I was taught to give up my spot on public transportation for someone older (as a kid, that also included people that were as young as in their 30s or 40s). Even though I followed that rule, I did so begrudgingly because sometimes I was tired after school, spent a long time waiting for the bus, and then fought my way through to get a good spot. My friends argued that older people could have just stayed home instead of taking up our spots. We were also told to listen to our elders (Obviously, within reason.) and not to badmouth them. You were all kids at one point, so you know that did not always happen. Each generation thinks they are smarter and better than the previous one. ‘What do these decrepit people know about the struggles of being young?‘ we all asked, not realizing that these people were young once, too.

I was never going to turn into my parents and I was never going to get along and see eye to eye with my grandmother (very stern). Until I did… When you are a young kid, it is hard to relate to someone that is not your peer. You think that all they want to do is limit you while in reality, they are just trying to teach and protect you.

When in school we learned about different cultures and I found out that there are societies in which elders are treated with even more respect than what I was used to, I could not believe it. Why would anyone want to be bossed around by someone so out of touch? Yea, sure – they raised us (or our parents), but that was it. ‘The time was OURS‘ we believed and wanted them to get off the stage.

It is common to talk about generational divides, but the differences can be seen within a single generation, too. I remember arguing with my younger sibling (only a few years younger). They accused me of being old and out of touch. My eyes grew wide. For a moment, I did not know what to say. You do not expect someone almost your age to tell you that your views are outdated and that your perceptions are off. A couple of years later, my sibling came to me with a shocking revelation – I was right – the kids really were crazy. I laughed so hard. Everything came full circle and while my younger sibling has always been more ‘in the know’ with the young ones, we both still laugh at how what we thought when we were kids is not what we think now.

Do not get me wrong – I do not consider someone older to be automatically 100% right and the wisest person in the room. I do my research. However, I do think that older people have the potential to have experienced more, which might give them an advantage in the wisdom game.

The definition of ‘old’ changes with age. When I was a kid, anyone older than 20 was old. Then, the needle moved to 30. It keeps on moving every five or so years. When the current President of the United States of America – Joe Biden – was sworn in, many voiced their concerns about his age. ‘How quickly in his term will he die?‘ some asked. It definitely is a valid question. Another one is whether the President’s mental faculties due to his age are sufficient. In my life, I have met people older than 100 years who were sharper than some middle-aged people. They say age is just a number. While I realize that is not completely true, I also acknowledge that not everyone is made equal.

While doing research for this post, I found that the highest median age in the US is 45 (in Maine), while the lowest median age is 31 (in Utah). The reason why I searched for it is that Elon Musk – now officially the richest person in the world – accused older members of the government of being ‘out of touch.’ According to him, elected officials should be within 10-20 years of the average Joe. After I stopped laughing at his remark about government members ‘not being in touch’ (because he – with his wealth – definitely is), I kept on reading only to find something much worse. Elon has been in the news trying to revolutionize many things in recent years. Now, he is basically admitting to thinking that old people are a waste and need to die. It might sound harsh, but that is the truth. Why does he think so? Apparently, he believes that people do not change their minds and if we were to live longer and not die, nothing would change.

“… if they don’t die, we will be stuck with old ideas and society wouldn’t advance.”

Elon Musk

Why is no one freaking out about things like that? It is a short way from that statement to – we need to kill those that do not agree with us. I always encourage people to argue, because it has the potential to open people’s minds. Sure, in today’s political climate it seems that many are set on not considering anything other than what comes out of their corner, but that does not mean that these people need to go. Maybe we should encourage debate instead of shunning different views?

Older people are said to have a bond with tradition and might not want to change things. That is true. However, it does not mean that is always wrong. I think we could use a bit of tradition and morals right about now. Older people have a wealth of experience. They have seen what works and what does not. Elon sent a car into space. An old person did not. Who is the wiser one?

Stay golden,

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56 thoughts on “NROP: You are just too old.

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  1. “They say age is just a number. While I realize that is not completely true, I also acknowledge that not everyone is made equal.” 💖

    I liked this. When I was younger, I often thought of older people “why don’t they just…” I didn’t understand the demands of adulthood can make you old in mind and body if you aren’t careful. My maternal grandmother was old at thirty-seven. My paternal grandmother was young until she died in her eighties.

    Our society is ageist and people like Elon Musk make it worse. It’s shocking how much leeway we give people when they’re rich. “They’re so independent. He’s such a free thinker.”

    He’s a jerk, at least in my opinion. Cool cars and interesting ideas some of the time, but still an ass (he’s on the autism spectrum, which affects his interactions somewhat).

    Though maybe I’m old 😁

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “I didn’t understand the demands of adulthood can make you old in mind and body if you aren’t careful.” Ah, yes… Your grandmothers are a perfect example. I see those around me, too.

      We definitely treat celebrities differently from regular people. Sometimes we hold them to a higher standard while sometimes we choose to give them a lot of leeway. None of it is fair.

      I didn’t know he’s on the spectrum, but I guess that makes sense.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I was talking to Em, but good point. I don’t know the ages of most bloggers, although I take clues from talk of grandchildren, etc. I will turn 70 on my next birthday, and I have been adjusting to the idea of being what I used to think is as “ancient.” Now, after hearing of the passing of such greats as Billy Graham and Betty White, I’m realizing I could have a few decades left and shouldn’t start coasting yet..

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Ah, my bad. As your comment did not post as a reply to Em’s comment but a standalone, I did not make the connection.

          There are people younger than 50 who have grandchildren, so it can be deceitful. But I understand what you’re saying. We all create some sort of assumed picture in our heads to better connect with others.

          Exactly. You just never know. So many young people die and so many old people keep on living.

          Like

  2. Awesome post, Goldie! It has everything – nostalgia, humor, relevance, and an annoying amount of common sense.
    When I hear someone (old or otherwise) express an opinion I question, I find it interesting to find out how they came to that conclusion. As you say, experience teaches, and some experiences are unexpected but more common than we would think. When someone asks, “Have you considered…?” It would behoove us to listen and consider. It may not change our minds, but either way, we make better informed decisions.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. ‘An annoying amount of common sense…’ I chuckled at that but also sighed. I’ve been told that by others. In a negative way… Why is common sense a bad thing? Sometimes I wonder if I’m emotionally challenged in some way.

      YES! 100%!

      Like

  3. Being in my early 30s as well, this post hits a special chord in me. It has been incredible to see the generational gap grow between myself and those in younger generations, even though I’m still considered a young adult. Maybe some of the wisdom in growing up, and some of what is important to carry away from our elders, is how quickly time can move and our perspectives can change in that way. If we live long enough, we can glimpse what differences have developed in our world, make comparisons, and discuss those with others.

    Which is also one reason why thoughtless comments like those from Musk about “getting rid” of the older generation in the name of progress are especially cruel and expose the ignorance of those saying them. It’s horrendous.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sorry to tell you but I remember seeing an add for some sort of ‘young adult’ club that capped at 29…

      You said it so well – the longer we live, the more time we have to view things differently. It does not mean that we will use that opportunity wisely, but it is a possibility.

      It IS ignorant and horrendous!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s another interesting thing. Even the line between the age limit between younger and older adults is arbitrary. I’ve seen other sources that place the young adult boundary closer to 34 or 36, while other sources might drop it as low as 24 or 25. Perhaps it really does come down to that saying, ‘You’re only as old as you feel.” And someone who is 60 and meets a person around 40, for instance, might consider them quite young.

        Anyway, one great thing about life is that we can see how the world develops and pass along that wisdom to younger generations. But you’re definitely right that we need to make a conscious decision to do that as well.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I never felt my age. Most of the time I feel older, but there are times when I definitely feel and act much younger. So, when there is a group that I would like to join but see the age restriction that is off by a year or two, it irritates me. But, it is what it is. Can’t stay young forever.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Very true. Sometimes I feel old and young at the same time, mostly because I think about how much I have to learn alongside how long certain things in the world have been around. It is a constant reminder to make the most of the time we have.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. When I saw that quote at first, I laughed at it Then I thought pretty much as you. Then I remembered 1969. Someone walked on the moon, but by 1972 we already found trips to space boring. On the other hand, All the kids I know still marvel at sunsets. There is hope
    ;;
    ;;
    Laugh When You Can

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve lived almost my entire adult life in a multi-generational household. I can confirm that everyone takes there turn being the smart one (or the dumb one) in the family, but the elders seem to offer the most perspective. The kids, on the other hand, offer the greatest creativity of thought. I’m not exactly sure what I, in the middle generation, offer. Perhaps, balance?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A little bit of both. Being in the middle can be difficult but it also allows you to be the rational one that can let the creativity of the young ones run free but not get out of hand and you are able to make the perspective of elders not overshadow everything else.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Quite recently I sent you an email complaining about communicating with someone who is half my age and another who is at least twice my age.
    If that email would be translated by a journalist, I am pretty sure I would be in the same category as mr. Musk.

    We definitely shouldn’t get rid of older people or wish them dead. They have earned their place on this earth!
    But I do find it hard to work with a very senior colleague who still feels the need to prove themselves or feel superior over me, while doing basic things on the computer is a challenge for them.
    If it was me, I would lower the retirement age and give the new generation a chance to make things happen.

    But what is considered old these days?
    Elon himself is 50 or so and dating women, each younger than the other.
    Maybe that is his anti aging solution….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There definitely are older people who think they are better than others just because of their seniority. And there are young people who think they are gods because they are young and can do anything. A balance is definitely needed like with everything else.

      Lowering the retirement age doesn’t always work. I know plenty of people who keep on working after they hit that age to make sure they keep making money. Not everyone is able to retire early. But you’re right – ideally, the elders would have more time to enjoy themselves. I think that might benefit everyone involved.

      Hahahah. I think many use Musk’s anti-aging solution!

      Like

  7. I don’t follow American politics at all, but upon reading news reports of Biden visiting Europe and addressing the war, I thought, wow am I happy that he is an experienced person with perspective – he is taking this war and its threats seriously and we really need that. So just had to comment, even though my comment is slightly off topic, but it was just a funny coincidence. To get a bit more back on topic, I do encounter this attitude a lot. Actually, I’ve already experienced ageism myself, being 43 in a job dominated by millenials.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This really resonated with me. I think it is difficult when we are younger to realise (on a deep level) that our parents, grandparents and elders in general have all BEEN our age…whereas we haven’t been theirs (yet). Things do change and are different, but things also stay the same in many ways.

    I always remember the quote “Children; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. They no longer rise when elders enter the room, they contradict their parents and tyrannize their teachers. Children are now tyrants.” ~Socrates. Let’s be honest, this quote could have been from any elder across most of history.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed. As a kid, you think adults have always been adults. It doesn’t help that adults rarely talk to their kids about being young (mostly to hide that they were just unruly as their kids).

      Wow. I was quite shocked to see that it was Socrates who said that. I figured it would be someone more recent. Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I have no problem listening to Elon talk about scientific advances; there’s no doubt he is a creative genius. And while he is free to offer his opinion on social issues, his voice carries no extra weight with me because of who he is…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. As a person of faith, I believe that we are exactly the age we are supposed to be. God created us from the beginning of time, and he chose our exact moment of birth for us to come into the world. And when it is our time, he will take us home (hopefully, although there are definitely exceptions).

    It relieves me of a lot of debate on this topic. Concerning euthanizing the elderly–well, if you’re willing to murder one group of people, don’t be surprised when it’s your turn to be eliminated.

    All these ideas are hardly new. I remember being horrified as a child, reading about babies being immolated to Moloch or the elderly being deliberately abandoned to starve. I was so grateful that I lived in a society where we’d learned to be better people. And now people have abandoned faith, and we’re acting like the old pagan societies again.

    Plus ca change, pus c’est la meme chose. (The more things change, the more they stay the same.) Or in my translation–you can’t change fundamental human nature. We tend to reset to selfish and lazy. (Also my explanation for original sin.)

    On the whole, I think it’s better to give older people respect that may be undeserved (you can always revise your opinion if it turns out they’re merely hardened jerks) than to miss a chance of learning. Most ordinary people have at least a nugget of wisdom that I’ve overlooked.

    And everyone is hungry to be listened to, young or old. It’s a good idea to listen to the young as well, to encourage them to clarify their thoughts if nothing else. And you never know, they may surprise you with a brilliant insight.

    It’s a shame, all that we’ve lost when faith was largely jettisoned. Every person I talk to is God’s beloved son or daughter, and I will be answerable for treating them that way. If everyone (or even more of us) truly believed this, I think the world would be a better place. : )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think turning away from faith is the reason for many problems of today.

      Reverting to selfish and lazy. It’s true. But WHYYYYYYYY?! Is it because we don’t live long enough to put things in perspective and learn?

      I agree with the listening part. I’ve always been more of a listener than a talker. It has its pros and cons. These days, especially with the ease of talking social media provides, everyone seems to be set on talking instead of listening.

      Thank you for your great comment, Cathleen. Stay golden!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post! I do think it’s better to try and discuss with people with an “older way of life” to arrive at a consensus rather than resorting to violence but those who remain closed to new ideas and hold power/authority remain an obstacle to change where many hope to see change…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sure, I agree. I’ve been around those older people who refuse to budge. But you know what? I’ve been around plenty of young people who are not open to a consensus, either.

      It’s one thing if the change is good but if it’s just for the sake of change, then…

      Like

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