Sexism, ageism, perfectionism, internationalism, terrorism, colourism, corporatism and so on and so on. This list can be as long as the amount of words you can attach to the suffix -ism. There was an item on the UK news yesterday which mentioned that ageism is the most prevalent -ism in our society today. How can we turn this around? It’s certainly true that our “personnes du troisieme age”- as the French delightfully call their older citizens – are portrayed in at times dehumanising ways by media, comedians and ordinary people in their day-to-day dealings with each other. I typed “old age” into my regular photo sharing site search button and the image below was one of those which came up, and it wasn’t the only one like it.
No face, no other body features, no details to put the person into context, just a pair of wrinkled old hands. This image will do little to engender compassion and understanding for our older people. There are many older people who bear more of a resemblance to the featured image at the header of this post. Older people are human beings, and as humans we come in a wide variety of shapes, colours, personalities and ages. There are many among us, who at the sight of an older person, experience little empathy, little patience. They are seen as but an inconvenience, holding us back in our busy lives. Let’s not count ourselves among this cohort! Let’s lead the charge for a kinder way to be.
I vote we turn these -isms on their head and reinforce new ways of thinking which are more positive, more caring, more understanding. Here are some suggestions for you to introduce into your thoughts, words and actions throughout your day: Bourbonism is a particular favourite (nothing to do with Spanish royal house but with those yummy chocolate biscuits we love so much in the UK – there’s always time in a day for a chocolate biscuit break.) On a serious note, I wonder how many of these -isms you can inject into your conversations with people this week? Perhaps when I’m out having coffee and cake with my sisters today, I will interject with one or two of the ones below. I’ll let you know how I get on – and please do reciprocate! Much love; have a week full of adventurism and altruism (see what I did there?!) Anita 😂😊
p.s. I just discovered how to do a word cloud in Word. If you’re interested, I followed the instructions on this short YouTube video. Fantastic and so easy. Here’s the link: How to make a wordcloud in MS Word