Thursday, December 15, 2011

"OLDER" PEOPLE,HOWEVER DEFINED, ARE NOT "LUMPABLE!


I hate it when people make assumptions that everyone around them is just like them, or worse, thinks just like them. I'm not talking about politics, gay rights or healthcare issues. I'm talking about aging! Recently I eavesdropped on a group of late 50 year old guys where two of them were going on and on about their aches and pains. One went so far as to say..."We're all in the same boat, getting old and gray by the day!"

I couldn't believe that none of the other guys took him on and said, Hey! I'm not hurtin! In fact I'm feeling pretty good. A little earlier one of the guys had told me he was looking into doing the Iron Man. When I asked him later, why didn't you say something about it, he shrugged it off, but I couldn't.

The truth is I get really ticked when I hear an "older" person (and how we define that today is another great challenge!)making an assumption about a peer, regardless of what the subject. People have a tendency to lump people together especially as they age. They shouldn't. PEOPLE ARE NOT LUMPABLE! It bothers me when I hear people say they have an ache or pain and assume you do also, when not only do you not, but in reality you have just completed a mini marathon in record time! Why do people do that? To make themselves feel better---or do they want everyone in the same boat? Theirs!

When I hear friends or strangers say, older people are all alike, I want to slap them on the side of the head and say, no they aren't, and to continue by asking, why would you assume everyone else your age is like you? And I want to go further and ask, actually how old are these old people you refer to? As a simple test, ask yourself right now---how do you define older people? And even more importantly, how do you see yourself?

In my work I help people of all ages rewire, and I am always struck when an older individual, and older in this instance is referring to anyone over 50, as defined by AARP (not me),tells me they feel old. My natural response to them is keep it to yourself.If you see yourself as old, so will others, I guarantee it. And then you doom all of us Boomers,so don't do it! There are many people, 50,60, 70, even 80 year olds who are doing just fine and feeling great! In fact the man in the picture is Buster Martin who ran marathons until he was 102 years old. Is Buster unique? Yes and no. One thing for sure is that he isn't LUMPABLE!

Open your eyes and see how many people around you are rewiring into next great acts! They're excited about life and its possibilities; they are focusing on their functional age, not their chronological age! Make sure you are also.

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