Think about this: Two cups, one containing sugar and the opposite containing sand. You pour the sugar into a big bowl. Then you definately rigorously pour the sand on prime. Subsequent, you’re taking a tweezers and choose up every grain, separating the sand and sugar again into their respective cups. How lengthy do you assume it will take you to finish the duty?
A really very long time, I might suspect.
Now think about a second situation: Identical two cups of the identical substances, poured into the identical bowl, besides this time you stir the substances collectively very aggressively. Then you definately attempt to separate the grains of sand and sugar utilizing that very same tweezers. How lengthy do you assume it will take you to finish this unfathomably tough activity?
An interminably very long time.
This metaphor could be utilized to tackling the insidious injustice of ageism. Right here’s how.
Let’s take into account these two kinds of grains –– sugar and sand –– as two particular populations. There are the “productive” younger adults and middle-agers, and there are the “unproductive” youngsters, teenagers, and older adults. By sustaining cultural ageist attitudes towards these latter three teams, we preserve them from absolutely integrating into the remainder of society. And like these grains of sand sitting atop the granules of sugar, they’re simpler to establish and take away from our policy-making, civic engagement, and even public discourse.
However what if we undertake the life like thought that somebody’s age ought to have little or no to do with accessing alternatives to take part and develop? What if we re-examine how we consider age-appropriate behaviors and we actively “fire up” our collective tradition to permit larger integration of various ages in widespread actions? What if we purposely foster intergenerational communication and relationships in our faculties, workplaces, recreation areas, and long-term-care settings?
As soon as populations of all ages are interspersed and uncovered to 1 one other on a extra common and widespread foundation, it is going to be subsequent to unattainable for us to return to embracing our discriminatory beliefs and practices. No tweezers of time would be capable of separate us, every a grain, embodying our personal fact whereas dwelling in an interdependent, age-affirming society.
Stirring issues up on this means is a activity effectively definitely worth the effort –– irrespective of how lengthy it takes.