I hate the concept of age. I understand wanting to quantify your existence but age is blown way out of proportion. Age is a restrictive box everyone is crammed into. Age definitely has a place but I don’t think it should be such an important factor in everyday life. Ageism negatively impacts and restricts people of all ages.
impacts the respect you get. Just
because you lack wrinkles doesn’t mean you lack wisdom and just because you
have gray hair doesn’t mean your thoughts are exceptional. Some people don’t have valuable wisdom and
some people do have exceptional thoughts but it isn’t contingent upon their
ages and neither should the respect the person receives.
My oldest niece was born when I was
ten. My sister had a carrier that you
strapped on to your shoulders to hold the baby hands free. Sometimes when we went shopping or something
similar someone else would take a turn holding the baby. I was ten and the other two aunties were
twelve and fourteen. When one of us was
holding the baby people gave us many dirty looks. They didn’t offer to help hold the door or
any other courtesies usually extended to people in general and especially a new
mom. People were so shocked and
disgusted to see what they thought was a young teen mom that they lowered the
amount of respect they gave us just because we weren’t a suitable age.
Another way age impacts respect is
with the word minor. I can’t stand that
word! It implies that people under
eighteen are not complete or worthy.
This is showed in society with things like voting age and a minor’s
inability to give consent to things. I
recently had a situation where consent was involved. It juggled teacher consent, doctor consent,
legal consent, parental consent, but no where did it ask for my consent while
it was concerning me. I find that a bit
backwards. This teaches kids that they
don’t have rights to their own bodies and lives. Minors are worthy of better treatment and a
There is this big misconception
that age is equivalent to maturity. This
is incorrect. Not all five year olds are
socially and mentally ready for kindergarten just because they are five. In the same way that not all fifty year olds
are at the same level socially and mentally.
Grades in school continue to divide and confine kids through senior
year. I was involved in a workshop last
year where I was the only person who wasn’t an adult. When the workshop finished a few of us
started planning our own little group.
It was all going well until my age came up accidently. Everyone seemed to clam up and start treating
me differently. They wanted to contact
my parents. I know they were just trying
to be responsible but it upset me. One
day I was capable of making my own decisions and being their equal and the next
they wanted parental say so to meet with them.
When they didn’t know my age they were judging my maturity and
responsibility on their interactions with me.
When my age was thrown in I became a teenager in a group of adults instead
of a just another member in their group.
People spend a lot of time worrying
if they are the way they should be for their age. People say you act too young or you act too
old. Why does no one tell you you’re
just right? One person’s just right is
very different from another person’s just right at the same age and that’s
ok. I remember when I was thirteen we
were having family dinner on a Sunday night.
I was sitting next to my sister who was twenty-four at the time. I was feeling giggly and being silly. She said something along the lines of, “I
don’t like it when you act like a thirteen year old.” Usually I acted more mature around her. I remember being struck by that sentence and
thinking no matter how I acted during that year I was still going to be
thirteen. At thirteen I could be quiet
and thoughtful or loud and giggly but I continued to be thirteen
regardless. People change with age but
age shouldn’t pressure people to conform or change.
As a teen in high school I felt
like a racecar revving at the starting line.
My whole life has been learning and practicing and preparing for the
future but sometimes the future seems too far away. What about now? People spend a lot of time waiting for the
future and regretting the past. Age encourages
this. Let’s ditch the restrictive force
of age and embrace the present. Don’t
let your age dictate your life. You’re
not too old and you’re not too young. You’re