Reject acts of ageism and celebrate life
April is one of my favorite months because it's my birth month. I can't remember when I didn't look forward to it. As a child, it was like waiting for the best holiday because it was my own special day.
Now that I qualify for a senior's discount, I'm proud of my age. This is new for me because I can remember when people told me I was too young. This is a change from just a wink away to now when I'm told I'm too old. Well, most people won't come out and say that directly, but rather something vague.
It appears that sometime in our lives, we are either too young or too old. In other words, we are victims of ageism. In some circumstances we are protected by laws, such as employment laws. By theory, a person can not be refused employment if they have the training, education and experience for a job. Unfortunately, life does not always reflect reality or justice.
A couple of great examples of ageism violations came to public attention recently.
Remember in the early days of the 2006 election season when 82-year-old Sen. Daniel Akaka faced the accusation that he was too old for another term in office? The minute that statement hit the news, I was sure that someone would point out its folly.
Regardless of one's political choices, it appeared to me that ageism in an election process that leads to protection of our rights would be a great place to make a stand. The only thing that I remember was how it polarized people.
Again, as we face another election season, another ageist statement has hit the press. This time the cry is that Sen. Barack Obama, 45, is too young to be a presidential candidate. The facts are:
"The Constitution requires that a candidate for the presidency must be a "natural-born" citizen of the United States, at least 35 years of age, and a resident of the United States for at least 14 years."
Anything less is ageism. What a shame that education, training and experience are not the most important criteria for the highest office in our nation.
As for April, I'm looking forward to my birthday. I still have some milestones to meet for more discounts. For me, it is time to celebrate!