Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Beautiful at Any Age

Beautiful at Any Age: "Char"

While most of the world reveres aging and the aged, we fear it and dismiss the "old". Americans are obsessed with youth. We glamorize the young and discount the experience that comes with age. Even before the age of sixty we choose to make folks irrelevant other than for the purchase of medicine, retirement homes, and general health care. In an age where seniors live longer and have more vitality this seems completely absurd.

The fact is this that "seniors" not only can be still beautiful beyond their prime, they have the patience and knowledge to guide us through difficult times and to contribute to our well being. Most have witnessed both good times and hardship. They know that neither good nor bad lasts forever. They also know enough to enjoy the present. We can learn from them.

Last night, I spent the evening with twenty-five people ranging from 70 to 92. We went out to enjoy gourmet pizza at a local restaurant in nearby Grapevine, TX. It was outrageously fun just to observe their enthusiasm. They truly know how to have fun and to just enjoy life the way it is.

As I enjoyed their company, in the back of my mind, I could not help but think about how this recession has truly put some of us in a category of unwanted and irrelevant. Our salaries according to boards of directors were to high and our experience did not matter. The economy has suffered because we've been denied income and jobs, therefore we cannot spend to aid in a consumer driven recovery. Instead greedy boards of directors have made short term decisions with long term ramifications; experience has been replaced by inexperienced youth. While the boards see fit to do this they have not considered to curtail their own bonuses and the salaries of senior corporate executives that have failed them. Instead they reward executives for disassembling complete workforces and hoarding cash.

It truly is a travesty of justice. Those laws that were put in place to protect us from age discrimination are rampantly being ignored. If you are a republican over the age of 50 and working in corporate America do not be surprised when you are dismissed before the age of 60. Neither republican or democrats are doing enough to stop the corporate genocide.

One young Republican by the name of Eric Cantor feels that by raising the retirement age we solve our social security issues. What Mr. Cantor and his constituents fail to understand is that people over the age of 50 are primarily the ones losing their jobs in this recession and aren't able to find them!!! How will raising the retirement age help in this new economy?

For someone like myself, I am now working at three different tasks to earn a living and to try to pay for medical insurance that only protects me from the catastrophic (perhaps). Quite frankly I am relying on my experience and creativity. The same experience that was discounted by my former employer. Now it's truly my turn to utilize all of my experience and get rewarded for it independently of any corporate employer.

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