Of course, finding your voice at any age is great, as many people are too focused on what other people think and not what they feel or think. For seniors, however, finding one’s voice is especially critical because so many assumptions are made about seniors today. Here are some common one:
- All seniors prefer to be with their families over all other activities.
- All seniors have nothing to talk about but their aches an pains.
- Seniors have given up being sexual.
- Seniors are grateful for the things others take them to or invite them to and are happy with that.
- Seniors don’t know how to flirt, be silly, joke around, dream about the future, have great desire and passions.
These are just a few of them. I could list many more. We, as seniors, need to find a collective voice that tells this country who we really are, not just tax phobic, insulated, half bathed elderly people who hope someone will invite them somewhere to get their minds off of worrying about their health. We were young once and have a lot to share, we have stories about the history of this country, about the history of where we live, about the history of just about everything including potato peelers and why we don’t use them anymore (guess). We were there for the civil rights movement, most of us remember the day JFK was assassinated, we protested the Vietnam War and had a great impact on the cessation of that war. We were part of the feminist movement which had such a severe backlash that even mentioning the word today will likely get a negative response from most women and men. All feminism ever meant was that women have the right to be autonomous and to enter into anything they choose to do without fear. That’s not such a bad thing but that’s not what got handed down as what feminism is. Seniors are treasure troves of oral history and they are interesting, and a vital part of our culture. If we were tree hugging, anti-war protesters who thought that women and men were different but equal and that the color of one’s skin shouldn’t determine the worth or value of that person, then surely we can redefine ourselves once again so we can figure out how we want to live, what makes us happy, what we want to do or not do, what do we want to change and how can we effect that change. This can be an exciting and wonderful time of life or it can be like watching ourselves go down the conveyor belt into the great unknown. I think we need to discover ourselves all over again and reach fearlessly for that star we have not yet touched, the one in the night sky we wish on but mostly don’t believe in. Believe and we can make it happen.