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athgarvan

Old People

The number of old people (60+) in the world is expected to reach two billion by the middle of the century. I suppose it's no longer PC to refer to us as 'old people'. We are now 'senior citizens', 'the elderly', those 'of a certain age', etc. In the past old people were considered to possess wisdom and knowledge which they shared with the community and were respected and looked up to by all. Young people nowadays look to Google for their wisdom and knowledge and the old people are, more and more, being sidelined, ignored, and left to fend for themselves by the state and by the young. This appears to be happening all over the world.

Russian women and ComputerOf course many old people, because of their circumstances, manage to keep up with the times mentally, physically and financially, and have developed an interest in travel, TV, computers, and such like. Too many unfortunately cannot.

I keep in touch with a number of Russian blogs and the problem appears to be especially true there. I was very much saddened recently to watch this short video of what it must be like to be ignored as is this old woman in an underground station:

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmlP2iS6GSk

Comments

i think old people get treated very differently in different cultures. the usa has had a youth-oriented culture for a long time; china was traditionally very reverent to the old. there's a book called "our babies ourselves" that examines this kind of variation in how infants are treated; i suspect something similar and fascinating could be written about the old.

the quote maybe most often cited is this though;

"Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.” -- plato (died at about 80 years-old, 347/8 BCE)
I love the quote from Plato.
And you can find quotes like that in every historical generation!

I suspect I'm unusual in that I inhabit the folk music world where there is still a great deal of respect for older people as bearers of tradition and wisdom.

I love the term 'silver surfer' for techie older folks like yourself. :o)
Love the 'techie older folks' bit!
I love the picture of the ladies looking at the laptop!
They're checking up on their blogs!
The poor old woman in the video -- you wonder what she lives on.

There are so many more old people (over 70, over 80, and even over 90) in the world today than there ever were. In the past, there were very few who made it that far, and those few who still had their wits about them were valued by society. Unfortunately, we now have many who just need a great deal of assistance and seem to have little wisdom at all. Medicine can keep a lot of people alive in the body, but not in the mind. I don't have answers, but it seems sad.
Sad it certainly is but I think families could show more concern.