I am a big fan of Seth Godin and read his daily blog. He recently completed his 5,000th post and shared a list of the most popular. The one that immediately caught my eye was “Reject the tyranny of being picked: pick yourself.”
As a key to understanding he posed the question, “Are we better off without gatekeepers?” When it comes to battling ageism, the gatekeepers have been AARP, NCOA, ASA, LeadingAge, and various aging advocacy groups using a variety of anagrams to describe themselves. Although no one has been keeping score (well some of us have), they are losing the game. Ageism remains pervasive in situation comedies, standup comic acts, comic strips, advertising, greeting cards, and political speeches. Older adults have let others pick the battles to be fought and how to fight them.
Godin went on to point out, “It's a cultural instinct to wait to get picked. To seek out the permission and authority…Once you reject that impulse and realize that no one is going to select you--that Prince Charming has chosen another house--then you can actually get to work.”It is time Baby Boomers pick those already over 65 to join a mature army and declare war on ageism.
Godin concluded, “Once you understand that there are problems just waiting to be solved, once you realize that you have all the tools and all the permission you need, then opportunities to contribute abound.
”Whenever you see an ageist ad, headline, comedy act, presentation etc. speak up. Tell those responsible that you do not appreciate being patronized, made fun of, marginalized or ignored. Tell them that you have decided to pick other companies to do business with and you will be inviting others to do the same.