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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Aging and Western Society
    #892401 - 09/19/02 02:12 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

I agree, age usually only creates boundry's.

This line from fliquid reminded me of what my Dad said about getting older. He remarked, "It is as if all of a sudden you become invisible. Younger people give you no eye contact and will rarely interact with you unless on a professional/service level."

This important topic has never come up here, predominantly because it is quite youth oriented. In more "primitive" societies all ages are intermingled which is healthy for all, as the creativity and energy of youth is mixed and balanced with the compassion and wisdom of the elders.

But today, the elderly are herded off to Florida (sorry schlorch) or other retirement or nursing homes, where they are largely ignored.

On a less extreme level, most people hang within a narrow age range group. 18 yo don't hang with 25 yo.

I understand this is largely due to school segregation and enculturation (music, fashion, etc.), but I find it to be a loss for everyone.

I am not sure if we are denying death or are afraid of what we will one day become.

My Dad (73) even remarked that he somehow felt guilty about getting old, as if he had done something wrong.

Thoughts?



--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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Anonymous

Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: Swami]
    #892511 - 09/19/02 05:36 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Hmmm, I agree with your sentiments but I think the subject should be "Aging and American Society." I don't see them same things when I visit the Netherlands with my wife and her family... but I may be myopic in this regard.

As for your dad remarking that he somehow felt guilty about getting old, this happens to a lot of people, particularly when they have been active and self sufficient their whole lives and then find themselves having to depend more and more on others to get along. From a physical standpoint, getting old sucks.


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OfflineAlbino_Jesus
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Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: Swami]
    #892517 - 09/19/02 05:46 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

In reply to:

But today, the elderly are herded off to Florida (sorry schlorch) or other retirement or nursing homes, where they are largely ignored.







this doesn't usually happen unless the elderly person is becoming senile. senile old people aren't exactly of any intellectual worth, yeah? but they shouldn't be left to be lonely


--------------------
The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door.
-Ralph Nader



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OfflineNextGenHippie
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Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: Swami]
    #892585 - 09/19/02 06:36 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

hmm... I've been away a really long time, haven't I?

I seem to be thinking more and more about getting older in these past few months, and I don't know why... I turned sixteen september 11th, and I'm still young compared to other's, but I'm thinking more and more about what I will be doing when I'm 20, 25, 30, etc.. it's weird.


--------------------
[pot]Think left and think right[pot]
[pot]and think low and think high[pot]
[pot]Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try[pot]
-Dr. Seuss


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: Swami]
    #892624 - 09/19/02 07:07 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Well Swami... if and when you get thrown in a crate and fedexed to some nursing home over here, I'll keep you supplied with bags of birdseed so you can feed the pigeons (or seagulls- we seem to have more of these than the flying rats).

My only issue with (most) elders is their close-mindedness. I've run into only a few people that were both much older than I and very open-minded (fewer still were philosophers). Age means nothing to me... a curious mind is my only mandatory requirement (to be my equal).


--------------------
Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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InvisibleWhiskeyClone
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Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: Swami]
    #892655 - 09/19/02 07:30 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

I think Western society's apparent preference for youth is one of its greatest flaws. We seem to view aging as a purely degenerative process. In other cultures, age is revered. In those cultures, one who has survived many years must have undoubtedly acquired wisdom and experience of some worth. With the unsurpassed medical capabilities Westerners are accustomed to, surviving to an old age seems more like a right than a privilege. Rights tend to be taken for granted; privileges not as much.

I am but a young'en, but I feel grateful to have the opportunity to spend time with the elders in my family. My great aunt's opinon is not that of an irrelevant, confused old bag, but that of a woman who has seen four of my lifetimes within her own. This is most evident when we watch Jeopardy. She kicks my ass every time.


Never underestimate the power and beauty of your youth. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But years from now, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you looked.



--------------------
Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.  For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.  Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it.

~ R.W. Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

:heartpump:


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OfflineChubbSubb
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Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: Swami]
    #892738 - 09/19/02 08:10 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Nice thoughts Swami. I agree with you. It is actually really sad that things are like that. Young people should hang with the oldies to learn from them.
Peace, Trev :smirk:


--------------------
Those who know do not speak.
Those who speak do not know.


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OfflineGrav
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Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #892744 - 09/19/02 08:13 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

do aging people follow this segregation because that is how the american system is set up?  do they feel there is nowhere else to go but the age group defined by our history? 

i think maybe im just a consipiracy theorist or something, but i think its another case of 'not thinking for yourself' and unknowingly letting other people tell you where you belong..    could it be as simple as that?

people with minds like us seem to be breaking this cycle... we are pioneering happiness.

i dunno  :tongue:


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OfflineGrav
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Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: Grav]
    #892757 - 09/19/02 08:18 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

after moving in with my grandparents and having conversations with them, i feel so much more open-minded to old people. they are very set in their ways, and im sure we disagree on many important things, things like morals.

but i know they have seen things i havent and have experienced a different world than me, and i have to accept that and look at what we have in common instead of where we differ...

i think there is much good stuff to be had in breaking age barriers



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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: Grav]
    #892911 - 09/19/02 10:05 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

they are very set in their ways, and im sure we disagree on many important things, things like morals.

In the early '70s I asked my grandmother to "give me five", she looked at me quizically for a moment, then said, "Oh, you mean press the flesh," which was a variant some 40 years before. She followed with "You kids think that you invented everything - even sex. There is nothing new."

Then she went on to tell how even the hippies were copycats. She smoked pot in the roaring '20s and thought it was no big deal. Even the word groovy, popular at the time, was old. The jazz meisters used to say, "In the groove," which was a double entendre meaning either in the record groove or was a reference to sex.

Coca Cola at the turn of the last century contained cocaine (very hip in the 1980's) and kola nut extract.

And of course, Rap music has it roots in "The Dozens", which is chanted rhymes popular in the poor black community and may go back to plantation days.




--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


Edited by Swami (09/19/02 05:35 PM)


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: Grav]
    #892927 - 09/19/02 10:11 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

do aging people follow this segregation because that is how the american system is set up? do they feel there is nowhere else to go but the age group defined by our history?

There are many reasons, but two main ones are the break-up of the modern family. Prior to the 1900's, most families stayed together, or at least in the same neighborhood. Now brother, sister, father, aunt, grandparent live in different cities and often different states.

Another reason is economics. When a lower or middle-class American retires, they often cannot afford to live where they worked most of their lives, hence they move to the areas of the country that are relatively cheaper (and warmer) to live; such as Las Vegas, Phoenix, and many areas in Florida.

This tends to create communities that cater to the elderly which then becomes self-segregating as to age.


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflineAlbino_Jesus
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Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #892945 - 09/19/02 10:22 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

In reply to:

I think Western society's apparent preference for youth is one of its greatest flaws. We seem to view aging as a purely degenerative process. In other cultures, age is revered. In those cultures, one who has survived many years must have undoubtedly acquired wisdom and experience of some worth. With the unsurpassed medical capabilities Westerners are accustomed to, surviving to an old age seems more like a right than a privilege. Rights tend to be taken for granted; privileges not as much.

I am but a young'en, but I feel grateful to have the opportunity to spend time with the elders in my family. My great aunt's opinon is not that of an irrelevant, confused old bag, but that of a woman who has seen four of my lifetimes within her own. This is most evident when we watch Jeopardy. She kicks my ass every time.






while having a preference for youth over age isn't a good idea, neither is a preference for age. there are idiot 60-year-olds and wise 16-year-olds, 25-year-olds who act 15 and grandfathers who'd blow your mind. I say don't worry about anyone's age and listen to their ideas
having lots of time to acquire knowledge and insight doesn't necessarily mean one has.
just as having been on this planet for a relatively short time doesn't make one immune to wisdom


--------------------
The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door.
-Ralph Nader



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OfflineCleverName
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Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: Swami]
    #892988 - 09/19/02 10:37 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

...and things move on...its the way of the universe, what goes up must, well you know... :wink:
hopefully my generation can learn from otheres mistakes, usually doesnt happen though... 


--------------------
if you can't find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?

this is the purpose


Edited by CleverName (09/19/02 10:42 AM)


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Anonymous

Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: Swami]
    #893154 - 09/19/02 11:30 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

My respect for the posters in this forum grows by leaps and bounds.  Ya think I'm prejudiced? :wink:

In reference to what AJ said:  Thoreau has a great section in his book, Walden Pond where he talks about the fact that some 'elders' have nothing to teach.

He is right.

Cheers all, 


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InvisibleIn(di)go
People of the sun.
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Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: Swami]
    #893380 - 09/19/02 12:52 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

i completely agree with you there, swami... elders could apport so much to our societies, yet we keep "pushing them away"...
in evolved societies elders play a great part in society, they are the ones that educate the siblings, for instance... when you think about it it makes complete sense... elders know very much about life and have, as you said a great amount of wisdom (knowledge+experience)... so if for instance you become a child when you are 27, you are still learning about life yourself... how can you teach a child how to live, when you haven't even found out how to do it yourself... and so misleading views and takes on life and society and relationships are passed on generation after generation... and maybe once you become 50 you realize that a lot of things you thought were so actually are pretty different, but it's too late... your children will soon be 25 themselves and will start teaching their children the same mistakes you taught them... to be honest i am glad that i have "old parents"...
another advantage of this is that the young people are able to experience and live their sexuality unhibited... without shame or guilt... without fear, because they know whatever happens they don't have to take responsability for the education (basic necessities such as food and shelter are guaranteed for everyone in evolved societies)... but are allowed and encouraged to spend as much time with the children as they want...


--------------------


Edited by Lozt Soul (09/19/02 12:58 PM)


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OfflineAlbino_Jesus
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Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: In(di)go]
    #893496 - 09/19/02 01:53 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

In reply to:

elders know very much about life and have, as you said a great amount of wisdom (knowledge+experience)...





except the portion who are... erm... intellectually braindead, right?
like the portion of everyone else...


--------------------
The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door.
-Ralph Nader



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InvisibleIn(di)go
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Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: Albino_Jesus]
    #893531 - 09/19/02 02:13 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

ring ding ding ding! prejudice


--------------------


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OfflineAlbino_Jesus
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Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: In(di)go]
    #893574 - 09/19/02 02:46 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

In reply to:

ring ding ding ding! prejudice



prejudiced to what?
some people are stupid, young or old.
some people aren't.


--------------------
The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door.
-Ralph Nader



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InvisibleIn(di)go
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Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: Albino_Jesus]
    #893593 - 09/19/02 03:02 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

you said everyone else... that doesn't leave much space for non-stupid people, does it?


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OfflineAlbino_Jesus
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Re: Aging and Western Society [Re: In(di)go]
    #893771 - 09/19/02 04:14 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

I said the portion of everyone else.
indicating that there's a portion of idiots in every age group.


--------------------
The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door.
-Ralph Nader



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