Addressing ageism

There are many things we utilize to identify ourselves, whether it be religion or gender. These things are very important for us in our daily lives and how others address us.

We wouldn’t like it if anyone assumed what our gender, religion and ethnicity is. As society is becoming more respectful as we are learning and educating ourselves and others of the diverse people of the world, there is still an overlooked part of our lives that are used sometimes against us, our age. Age plays an important role in many places. Workplaces, school, friends, communities, etc. As it does play an important role in law, such as with drinking, use of marijuana, driving, working, voting etc., it can be used as a method to down people and make excuses.

There are many sections to this. Let’s start with drinking, smoking and drugs. Although some people do misuse these addictive things with overusing and overdosing, it’s a part of a lot of people’s lives. Age in this case can be critical with this, as many misuse them at a young age, and being an adult does not mean you are responsible to use these substances. Age should be paid attention to because 1. Young adults’ bodies and brains are still forming from ages 21–27, 2. Less damage earlier could be better for the future, and 3. Not drinking and smoking does not ruin your social life, trust me.

In terms of relationships and marriage, age can be very critical too especially in America, where sometimes even a five year gap is seen as too much. Keep in mind the numerous celebrity couples who have 10–20 year age gaps — love is love. In terms of age with law, age is of course important, but after 18 or 20, if the individual feels physically, mentally and financially mature, age shouldn’t be an issue. It’s society that makes it an issue. Don’t let others’ opinions affect your relationship with your person, it’s you and them in it, no third person, that being society.

The workplace is also a big platform where people can act discriminatory towards age. Some people graduate early from college and get into corporate jobs, where they are criticized for being “privileged” for being able to work there at a young age. Others graduate at a later age and are judged for being older, especially for people working at retail jobs. Don’t let people determine your knowledge and power through your age.

There are still many places where people are judged. The common sentences we may hear are, “You’re too young” or, “You’re just a baby” or “You still have a lot to learn.” Switching this around, we may also hear, “How old are you?” or, “You’re like a mom” or, “Live life a little!”

Our age does not determine the number of experiences we had in life or the knowledge we attained.

If you are a kind, loving, courageous, thankful, socially aware, respectful, content human being, why should age matter? How can our age possibly determine if we have these virtues?

Additionally, a lot of people act as if we will live to 100. We don’t know what age we will pass on, so why do we spend so much of our lives putting others down by a number that doesn’t determine our identity?

Live your life, love others, and don’t let people downgrade your worth. If you’re shining at 20, then another person is glowing at 60.