The Number Means Something
Age is not just a number. It means something. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t get teed off at the 40-something co-worker who behaves like a teenager, or the teenager who acts like a toddler.
I wouldn’t look at my 20-something, quite handsome, personable co-worker and think, “I wonder if I know anyone I can fix him up with?”
A friend forwarded a video to me of an 80-year-old woman who’s more fit than 99 percent of us, body-builder fit, and this woman is quoted as saying (you guessed it) “age is just a number.” I get what she’s saying. Age is no excuse to give up on fitness and health, in fact, quite the opposite. However, we wouldn’t be half as impressed with her if she were 40. We’d likely still have an appreciation for the hard work and hard body, but it would seem more age-expected. And age-reasonable.
Expectations are one thing. Judgment is another.
There’s a lot of animosity between baby boomers and millenials. That’s laughable, given the grief baby boomers used to take from the older generations. It wasn’t precisely the same criticism, but there were a lot of parallels. Remember, those were the babies born when America was, well, booming, born to parents who’d survived the Depression era and World War II. These “babies” were seen as privileged, entitled.
Now life has kicked some sense into those one-time kids, wisdom combined perhaps with cynicism and disillusionment, and they’ve changed their attitudes. I’m not saying I think millenials are either senseless or golden children above reproach. I’m saying I think they’re younger than the baby boomers, and their outlook toward life is naturally going to be different. There’s value in both perspectives.
Now that’s a broad generalization of both generations, and some of you are going to jump on that fact. I don’t actually paint all individuals of a particular age group with the same colors. The key word is individuals, and I respect that.
But age is a number that means something. At least it had better, or what would be the point?
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