An interesting reflection.

Taken from ‘Fountain of Age’ by Betty Frieden, Simon & Schuster 1993.

This generation has a unique role in combating the “age as decline” model, which is still prevalent in Western society.  We are living longer with health and assets, and the benefits of technology – at the turn of the 20th century average life expectancy was 45 years.

It is the nature of  our human biology- and above all our human brain – that development can indeed continue beyond childhood, youth and beyond mid life up to and beyond the 70’s. It can continue to the very end of life, given purposes that challenge and use our human abilities

That is not how we look at age today. As things are now, we have good reason to fear age. We have seen, and are shown, only the losses and declines it can impose.

• In gerontology there is bias to studies of older people in institutions,/ of senility/ dementia / dependency.
• In retirement, although in the USA retirement age was raised to 70 in 1977, age discrimination continues to favour younger workers.
• The obsession with being young is characterised by face lifts, plastic surgery in general and Viagra.
• The retirement village complex, funded by business consortiums feeding on people’s fear of loneliness, illness, not coping – cashing in on the mindless conformity to the victim model of old age.

We have therefore averted our eyes from the face of age.

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