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?


Images © GraphicStock

8 Comments on “The Number Means Something

  1. The number keeps going up but I am along for the ride, so that makes me happy! Millenials….they think so differently, but then the world has changed so much, which is probably what they will say when they get older. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Younger individuals absolutely started to treat me differently when my hair turned gray/grey. Makes me frustrated at times because I’m solely being judged by that by them. I see older folks who look and act very, very old and I think…am I really in that category now? I look older than my age…used to be the opposite. I have not given up on being healthy at all but my body wishes to “discuss” each effort to do so! I don’t know if, healthy or not, millennials will value our experience and wisdom…may need some more “seasoning” before we get to that point!

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    • Chances are when they’re our age they’ll be griping about “those over-privileged kids who expect the world to (fill in the blank).” As for grey hair, I still color mine. I just can’t give in to nature yet!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My knees are packing it in and my lower back. It’s been two months and I still haven’t totally recovered from a fall – that’s because it takes longer when you are older. Age isn’t a state of mind. 🙃

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post! I’m a millenial (the horror!), but I’m from a time when the phrase “children should be seen and not heard,” was quite common. I think the sentiment is harmful, but I do have a reverence for those with more years of wisdom and experience.

    I think these labels seem helpful when trying to analyze trends among groups, but they run the risk of perpetuating stereotypes. We can, and should, learn from everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. Demographics have their place, but they shouldn’t define individuals. And heavens, children should be heard! A time and place for everything, of course, but we should all listen. I can learn from people of all ages, and if I think I can’t, I’m limiting my opportunities. Thank you for your comment#

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