Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ageism

When most of us hear the word "ageism," we think of young people being prejudice against old people. You know, the gangsters mugging old ladies and computer savvy techies scamming them out of retirement money using prank calls.

But, what about old people being prejudice to young people?

I just spent the whole day at a craft fair, which I try to do at least once a year (gotta keep this habit funded!) And, I swear, EVERY year there is some old lady there who is TOTALLY MEAN to me!

Last year, I remember some lady calling me "young" in a condescending way as she said something hurtful (yes, it's a vague but emotional memory). This year, I threw a banana peel in a bag that was hanging nearby (obviously for garbage) and realized it must belong to the old lady selling jams behind me. So, I politely smiled and pointed to the garbage and asked if it was okay if I threw my banana peel in there. She didn't understand me the first few times, due to her hearing impairment, but eventually she realized what I was asking.

Then, she loudly exclaimed, "Well, didn't you already throw your banana peel in there anyway?! Isn't that just like you young people! Always doing something before you ask permission!" If that wasn't ageism at it's finest, on top of it, SHE HIT ME! Yes, she slapped me HARD on my shoulder. I just stood there, shocked. I wasn't smiling anymore. I couldn't believe I had just been treated so rudely. I offered to take my banana peel and throw it away somewhere else, but she said it was fine...

Fine my BUTT (and ya know I wanted to use another word here!)

It is NOT fine to treat me rudely because I am "young."
It is NOT fine to assume that I am like all the other "youngsters" who are actually in their teenage years...just because you can't discern which decade I belong to!
It is NOT fine to put me down or slap me!
AGEISM to youngin's must stop!

The Bible says:
Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.
(1 Timothy 4:12)

So, everyone who considers themselves "old" please be nice to people you view as "young." And, we "young" people (how much longer does one belong to this group???) will be nice to you too...okay?

1 comment:

Kristin Erickson said...

Seriously!!?! That lady needed to spoon a little sugar into her mouth and sweet up that attitude!

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