100 Watts – “In youth we run into difficulties. In old age difficulties run into us.”


This past election heightened my sensitivity to Ageism in Aurora and my impetus to write this week’s column:

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The outcome of the election restored my faith in my fellow voters seeing both the oldest and youngest candidate elected, being councilor Buck and Councilor Pirri respectively.

In talking with both age was definitely a factor that seemed to work both for and against both candidates.

Rabindranath Tagore framed it as “Age considers; youth ventures.”

I agree, and on council we need, and luckily have both.

In regards to councilor Pirri there seemed to be apprehension regarding his perceived “lack of experience”.  In this respect his age was seen as somewhat a detractor, that was until people realized his area of study at University which made him a perfect candidate.

Councilor Pirri’s age did allow him to connect with the younger demographic of voters and sold voters on his ability to connect with that demographic.

On the other side councilor Buck fully realized given the time she has spent being involved in politics and influencing several town and regional initiatives that she has both won over and lost voters given her stance on issues.  This would all factor into the election, but what concerned me when talking to some neighbors was the mindset that there should be term limits to stop candidates like councilor Buck from running.  The justification, well she’s old.  Things can’t be done like they were 30 years ago.

That’s true, things change.

People do to, if you let them.

Courtesy of Wikipedia:

Jeunism is the discrimination against older people in favor of younger ones. This includes political candidacies, jobs, and cultural settings where the supposed greater vitality and/or physical beauty of youth is more appreciated than the supposed greater moral and/or intellectual rigor of adulthood.

There seems to be some stigma about seniors being mentally inflexible simply because of their age.

Nowhere have I seen this to be more untrue than here in Aurora.

Henry Ford observed that “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

I’m not convinced when I hear people make such outrageous claims as “80 is the new 30”.


80 is 80.

30 is 30.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t 80 year olds that contribute as much as 30 year olds, here is a small photo gallery courtesy of the Toronto Star of just 10:  http://www.thestar.com/fplarge/photo/899238

Mark Twain may have said it best:

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

What matters is that we maintain the same level of respect to our seniors as we do anyone else.



Watts on your mind?

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