Friday, 07 March 2014
Elder Role Models
Last week, the Guardian published the results of a survey the newspaper had conducted about aging. It appears the U.K. government hasn't done any better preparing for the big demographic shift to an older population than the U.S. government has.
We could discuss that and other outcomes of the survey but this is Friday and if you are like me, you prefer a lighter touch to end the week – this week, anyway.
So how about we play around today with this question from the Guardian survey: Who is a good role model for elders?
(This topic screams for photographs but the Guardian commissioned such good ones that it is futile for me to try find anything better than I can legally use. So go to the Guardian to see theirs.)
Most choices for good elder role models were, of course, Britons but not all. Star Trek's Lieutenant Sulu, George Takei, is included “because of his perspective, usefulness in campaigning and visibility around being older and gay.”
Nelson Mandela is on the list because “he showed that you are never too old to add to the wealth of nations."
Moving on to the Brits: "Sir Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Michio Kaku and Diana Athill. Intelligent, talented people who are still engaged and not defined by their age."
Actor and member of Parliament Glenda Jackson was not overlooked nor was poet Billy Connolly.
David Attenborough was mentioned because “his observations on life spread a much needed sense of wonderment and he has been going strong, doing what he loves, well into his eighties, sustainably."
[Although it is not directly related to this survey, that last quotation does remind me of the single thing I envy about celebrities (and many corporate leaders) – successful ones, anyway: that they are allowed to work for as long as they want, whereas we 99-percenters are forced out of the workplace as young as 45 and 50.]
All right, now it is our turn. How about we start with Evelyn from yesterday's post:
If you don't know who Evelyn is, you can see the video about her here.
Maybe you don't buy the idea that elders need role models but if you do, who would you choose? And be sure to tell us why.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Clifford Rothband: What's a Half Dime?