How Not to Treat a Senior

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Time and again I see stories in major publications celebrating older adults and their ability to “stay young” and vibrant.  While these are usually heartwarming stories, they also imply that our aged population cease to be people after a point.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we can have wrinkles and a sense of humor.  Should people really have to subjected to patronizing attention because of their age?  If you pay attention, kids don’t like it and seniors don’t either.  It is a sentiment that is perhaps best expressed by the late Maya Angleou:

On Aging

By Maya Angelou 

When you see me sitting quietly,

Like a sack left on the shelf,

Don’t think I need your chattering.

I’m listening to myself.

 

Hold! Stop! Don’t pity me!

Hold! Stop your sympathy!

Understanding if you’ve got it,

Otherwise I’ll do without it!
When my bones are stiff and aching,

And my feet won’t climb the stair,

I will only ask one favor.

Don’t bring me no rocking chair.
Hold! Stop! Don’t pity me!

Hold! Stop your sympathy!

Understanding if you’ve got it,

Otherwise I’ll do without it!
When you see me walking, stumbling,

Don’t study and get it wrong.

‘Cause tired don’t mean lazy

And every goodbye ain’t gone.
I’m the same person I was back then,

A little less hair, a little less chin,

A lot less lungs, much less wind.

But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in.
So hold! Stop! Don’t pity me!

Hold! Stop your sympathy!

Understanding if you’ve got it,

Otherwise I’ll do without it!

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