Ageism or common sense?

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Könchok Thrinley
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Ageism or common sense?

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Okay, today I started wondering about one thing. Have you noticed how we are heading for doom and most of the world leaders are old farts? Trump is old, Biden left his mental vitality during Obama's administration and in my coutry our president can barely walk, there are rumors he cannot hold his stool and our prime minister is soon to reach 70 and steals our nation's future.

Like, shouldn't there be an age limit? In many functions we have a minimum age necessary to serve in that function. However, with aging population, shouldn't we have age maximum? Let's say 65 as the maximum age for presidential candidate. Is this an ageism or just common sense? I do not think that all old people are incapable of critical or are immoral. But we have age limit for drivers from both ends, why not for our leaders? For once I want someone around 40 to kill my dreams of having a house and a dog with my boyfriend, that's all I am saying.

What are your thoughts?
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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by steveb1 »

In religious or secular or political leadership, age per se is no more the issue than is gender, gender identity, race/ethnicity or any other "separator" issues. The chief point concerns the personal sharpness of the individual politician, leader, teacher, etc. There's no fool like an old fool - unless of course it's a young fool. Judge leadership by the worthiness of the person to fulfill a position's duties with honesty, compassion, authenticity and transparency. Don't judge by age, gender, or social identity - that only infuses tribalism with more power than it deserves. Don't set age limits as a universal - instead, judge only by the individual's merits and demerits.
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Ayu
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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by Ayu »

Könchok Thrinley wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:58 am Okay, today I started wondering about one thing. Have you noticed how we are heading for doom and most of the world leaders are old farts? Trump is old, Biden left his mental vitality during Obama's administration and in my coutry our president can barely walk, there are rumors he cannot hold his stool and our prime minister is soon to reach 70 and steals our nation's future.

Like, shouldn't there be an age limit? In many functions we have a minimum age necessary to serve in that function. However, with aging population, shouldn't we have age maximum? Let's say 65 as the maximum age for presidential candidate. Is this an ageism or just common sense? I do not think that all old people are incapable of critical or are immoral. But we have age limit for drivers from both ends, why not for our leaders? For once I want someone around 40 to kill my dreams of having a house and a dog with my boyfriend, that's all I am saying.

What are your thoughts?
I would be interested in your thoughts about this post when you have reached an age older than 50 yourself.

I am 58 right now and I learned to accept this kind of fascism of the youth. The best old person is the one who doesn't bother the young guys with their existence and who is ready to help selflessly & immediately in case of emergency.

I feel becoming old in my head sometimes - a bit slow, a bit peculiar. It is interesting. But it is a completely new situation for me to see that young folks not only are not interested in my ripened opinion, not only don't like to meet me, don't want to work with me in a team, but even seem to be kind of afraid of me. I mean, only those who do not know me closer fortunatly. But those young people who only judge me by the face are extremely biased.

That's something, everybody has to accept with coming age. But it is quite funny that those people who fight against racism, who work for women's rights and gender equality are able to cathegorize human beings due to their age only and sort them out by age just like trash.

That's really an interesting phenomenon and I wished everybody wasn't that afraid of age that they wouldn't need to dehumanize their view on old people. What do you need a president for who is able to hold his stool, if he is a good person, an expert in good politics and has access to modern napkins?


Regarding your subject-line my conclusion is your thoughts are common sense in our completely insane society and for sure they are agism as well. You can feel it by yourself as soon as you've got the fortune not to die young.
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Momo
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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by Momo »

I have a two word answer for you.

Boris Johnson....

I rest my case.
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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by shaunc »

I'm approaching 57 years old and I do believe in a compulsory retirement age for any job.
In my country it used to be 65 however our government has stopped that and now encourages people to work until they drop dead. However even when we had compulsory retirement politicians and religious leaders were exempt.
I believe that by bringing it back it would help to lower unemployment.
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Ayu wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:59 am
Könchok Thrinley wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:58 am Okay, today I started wondering about one thing. Have you noticed how we are heading for doom and most of the world leaders are old farts? Trump is old, Biden left his mental vitality during Obama's administration and in my coutry our president can barely walk, there are rumors he cannot hold his stool and our prime minister is soon to reach 70 and steals our nation's future.

Like, shouldn't there be an age limit? In many functions we have a minimum age necessary to serve in that function. However, with aging population, shouldn't we have age maximum? Let's say 65 as the maximum age for presidential candidate. Is this an ageism or just common sense? I do not think that all old people are incapable of critical or are immoral. But we have age limit for drivers from both ends, why not for our leaders? For once I want someone around 40 to kill my dreams of having a house and a dog with my boyfriend, that's all I am saying.

What are your thoughts?
That's something, everybody has to accept with coming age. But it is quite funny that those people who fight against racism, who work for women's rights and gender equality are able to cathegorize human beings due to their age only and sort them out by age just like trash.
I am sorry if I touched a nerve there. However, I don't think we should sort people based on age in any way. I just think that maybe it would be good to have an age limit on leading positions. Look at Obama how he aged in the White House, I cannot even imagine Joe Biden finishing his term if he gets elected. The same would be with Bernie who at least has the mental capacity.

People in their 50's and 60's can be amazingly capable and often are, just like peple in their 70's and 80's and above. I mean look at late justice Ginsburg, she was in her 80's and still kicking ass.

Anyway was just my musing.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Momo wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:29 am I have a two word answer for you.

Boris Johnson....

I rest my case.
Okay, you won. :lol:
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

In nature, the oldest ones are the ones
who know how to survive.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Ayu wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:59 am ...it is quite funny that those people who fight against racism, who work for women's rights and gender equality are able to cathegorize human beings due to their age only and sort them out by age just like trash.

That's really an interesting phenomenon and I wished everybody wasn't that afraid of age that they wouldn't need to dehumanize their view on old people....
That's all true, Ayu, but there are good reasons for preferring leaders younger than some current incumbents and candidates.
One is simply health: physical fitness and stamina, as well as freedom from Alzheimers. Some people in their 70s and a very few people in their 80s are as sharp as ever - but not many. And if something does go wrong (heart, hip, whatever) they all take much longer to recover.
Another is that younger people are less likely to be functioning on a set of beliefs and biases formed in the 1950s and 60s. The world we live in is very different from that world, and people who didn't grow up with (e.g.) gay rights, climate change and the internet tend to think of all of them as problematic or marginal.

I would like to see a government which is reasonably representative, in age, gender, religion and ethnicity, of the population it governs. I know the US Congress is full of old, rich, white men, and the Australian government is not much better. Some parties have set targets for female representation, and I think that's a good move.
Targets for ethnic diversity would be good, too.
Age? I don't know. Parliamentary life is notoriously not family-friendly, so good candidates under 40 will be rare just for that reason. At the other end of the scale, anyone who has been in the job for a while can be judged on their performance, but old newbies? I don't think so.

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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by Danny »

This type of topic basically boils down to advantage. Advantage is taken and is rarely given.
It’s also true that the living are ruled over by the dead. Each generation must determine its own course, and not feel beholden to the previous. Taking advantage brings along aggression. It’s forceful action - forceful karma. Forceful karma brings forceful opposition. So here we are. Too young to know, too old to see. Friction, heat, karma. Samsara. The young overturn the old, the old suppress the young. Advantage, advantage advantage. It’s called entropy of an enclosed chaotic random system that grows more random and chaotic as a function of time.
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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by Ayu »

Könchok Thrinley wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:47 am ...
I am sorry if I touched a nerve there. However, I don't think we should sort people based on age in any way. I just think that maybe it would be good to have an age limit on leading positions. Look at Obama how he aged in the White House, I cannot even imagine Joe Biden finishing his term if he gets elected. The same would be with Bernie who at least has the mental capacity.
...
Yes, we can agree to that.

You really touched a nerve only. It's my topic these weeks.
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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by Ayu »

Dear Kim,I agree to nearly everything you wrote - just one exeption.
Kim O'Hara wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:49 pm ...
Another is that younger people are less likely to be functioning on a set of beliefs and biases formed in the 1950s and 60s. ...
Beliefs and biases are no matter of age. Many young people seek security in narrow beliefs and biases.
To assume a certain age stands for openmindedness and another age is likely to have narrow views is quite unfair against all those hippie grandmas and -fathers. :smile:
Those people age very differently than our parents who were coming from the 1950s.
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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by ewomack »

Many parts of the modern world no longer seem to value wisdom.

As for world leaders with handicaps, Franklin Delano Roosevelt couldn't walk throughout the entire length of his presidency, yet many consider him one of the greatest presidents the United States has seen, though he was by no means perfect.

As an older person myself, though not yet too old, who was once young, I remember thinking that older people were stupid or slow or boring. It's true what they say that "you won't understand until you're older." It sounds like trash when you're younger, but you really don't understand until you acquire more "life experience." There is no way to teach or communicate such things to someone younger. The most one can do is tell stories and hope that younger people might glimpse something interesting in them. Outright moralizing and scolding never works.

We need wisdom back in the world. I have no idea how to accomplish that.
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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by Kim O'Hara »

:good:
--but there are a few points which are worth exploring a bit further.
Ayu wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:45 pm Dear Kim,I agree to nearly everything you wrote - just one exeption.
Kim O'Hara wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:49 pm ...
Another is that younger people are less likely to be functioning on a set of beliefs and biases formed in the 1950s and 60s. ...
Beliefs and biases are no matter of age. Many young people seek security in narrow beliefs and biases.
True. What I see is children adopting their parents' beliefs, teenagers exploring alternatives, and young adults deciding on their own set of beliefs - often very narrow and very strongly held, as you say.
What happens after that, usually, is that their beliefs become broader, more tolerant and less rigid, but don't really change much. Someone who is a rabid free-marketer at 25 is likely to be pro-capitalist at 50 and at 75, for instance.
Also, the factual knowledge on which their beliefs are based is mostly what they learned in school.
To assume a certain age stands for openmindedness and another age is likely to have narrow views is quite unfair against all those hippie grandmas and -fathers. :smile:
Those people age very differently than our parents who were coming from the 1950s.
In terms of the mental development of people now alive...
People in their 40s grew up with climate change, gay rights, women's rights, the internet, facebook, a largely secular society.
People in their 50s grew up with some of these and encountered others in their formative years.
People in their 60s knew nothing about climate change (just to pick an issue I can put dates on) until about 1990 when they were in their 30s. It was therefore a new thing that they had to incorporate in a worldview which was already fairly firmly set.
People in their 70s and 80s encountered nearly all of these things when they were in their 30s, 40s or even 50s and had to incorporate nearly all of them by unlearning what they were taught by their parents and schools. That's a bigger task than many of them wanted.

I'm not saying that everyone over X years old is hopelessly out of date, but that older people are more likely to be out of date than younger ones.
Me, I was a radical hippie in my 20s :smile:
The way things are going, I will still be radical - further left than nearly everyone around me - when I'm in my 70s and 80s. That's a bit sad, actually, because I did hope that society might have become more open, more tolerant and fairer, by the time my kids grew up. But it's also an example of attitudes being decided by young adults and not changing much after that.

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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by treehuggingoctopus »

Ayu wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:59 amI am 58 right now and I learned to accept this kind of fascism of the youth. The best old person is the one who doesn't bother the young guys with their existence and who is ready to help selflessly & immediately in case of emergency.

I feel becoming old in my head sometimes - a bit slow, a bit peculiar. It is interesting. But it is a completely new situation for me to see that young folks not only are not interested in my ripened opinion, not only don't like to meet me, don't want to work with me in a team, but even seem to be kind of afraid of me. I mean, only those who do not know me closer fortunatly. But those young people who only judge me by the face are extremely biased.

That's something, everybody has to accept with coming age. But it is quite funny that those people who fight against racism, who work for women's rights and gender equality are able to cathegorize human beings due to their age only and sort them out by age just like trash.

That's really an interesting phenomenon and I wished everybody wasn't that afraid of age that they wouldn't need to dehumanize their view on old people. What do you need a president for who is able to hold his stool, if he is a good person, an expert in good politics and has access to modern napkins?


Regarding your subject-line my conclusion is your thoughts are common sense in our completely insane society and for sure they are agism as well. You can feel it by yourself as soon as you've got the fortune not to die young.
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Brings just as much merit as the meditation
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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by Bundokji »

The Buddha taught:
A monk is not an elder because his head is gray. He is but ripe in age, and he is called one grown old in vain.

One in whom there is truthfulness, virtue, inoffensiveness, restraint and self-mastery, who is free from defilements and is wise — he is truly called an Elder.
The above means: everything else being equal, older people are wiser, an important quality for leadership.
The cleverest defenders of faith are its greatest enemies: for their subtleties engender doubt and stimulate the mind. -- Will Durant
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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by KathyLauren »

What is really needed is a psychological test for political candidates. We can all think of leaders past and present who were clearly psychologically unfit to be in positions of power.

The problem is that politicians would "game" the testing. They would make the official psychologist a political appointee, to that their candidates were approved regardless of unfitness, and the opposing candidates were rejected regardless of fitness. There is no way to keep the testing impartial.

So, much as I dislike ageism, having a mandatory retirement age is the only way to do it. You can't game the calendar (though no doubt some would try).

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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Bundokji wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:42 pm The Buddha taught:
A monk is not an elder because his head is gray. He is but ripe in age, and he is called one grown old in vain.

One in whom there is truthfulness, virtue, inoffensiveness, restraint and self-mastery, who is free from defilements and is wise — he is truly called an Elder.
The above means: everything else being equal, older people are wiser, an important quality for leadership.
Sorry, but it doesn't mean what you think it means. In fact, it is saying age doesn't matter much. The connection between the second and third sentences is a "but", and the whole thing means, "Being old in years is not enough. Truthfulness, virtue, inoffensiveness, (etc) are more important."

And your conclusion, "Everything else being equal, older people are wiser," relies on the hidden assumption that everything old people have learned is still relevant, accurate and useful when they are old. There was a lot of truth in that in societies which didn't change much for generation after generation but there's much less truth in it now.

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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by Bundokji »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:05 pm
Bundokji wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:42 pm The Buddha taught:
A monk is not an elder because his head is gray. He is but ripe in age, and he is called one grown old in vain.

One in whom there is truthfulness, virtue, inoffensiveness, restraint and self-mastery, who is free from defilements and is wise — he is truly called an Elder.
The above means: everything else being equal, older people are wiser, an important quality for leadership.
Sorry, but it doesn't mean what you think it means. In fact, it is saying age doesn't matter much. The connection between the second and third sentences is a "but", and the whole thing means, "Being old in years is not enough. Truthfulness, virtue, inoffensiveness, (etc) are more important."

And your conclusion, "Everything else being equal, older people are wiser," relies on the hidden assumption that everything old people have learned is still relevant, accurate and useful when they are old. There was a lot of truth in that in societies which didn't change much for generation after generation but there's much less truth in it now.

:namaste:
Kim
By bringing up a general rule and highlighting an exception, the general rule is not being negated, but being put into its right place. This is why, i made sure to say: everything else being equal, which is negating the exception.

Why would the Buddha go into the lengths of showing limitations to a general rule if the general rule has no value?

For example, when monks get ordained, they somehow get reborn. As far as i know, in the vinaya rules, seniority is not determined by the level of realization or insight, but the number of years spent in monasticism.

The relationship between wisdom and time is an interesting one. As an archetype, wisdom is often associated with age. In human society, which operates between birth and death, the elders often represent cooler heads, an antidote to the burning passions of youth. The human mind experiences different stages of developments. The elders experienced being young first hand, while the young project what being old feels like. The endless negotiations between different generation is how humans seek to find an equilibrium

This general rule is still acknowledged in many ways. There is a minimum age for getting married, having a drivers license, owning property without guardianship ...etc

Some would argue that our modern life brought about some new challenges and needs that made the leadership of the elders a limitation. I disagree. The increasing fluidity of our age makes the input from the elders more important than ever. They might not be as overly impressed by the promises of technology for example, as they saw its limitations and how its affecting people's behavior and perceptions, which is surely, not all positive.

From a more democratic perspective, western societies have low fertility rates, and without immigration, the elderly would be even a bigger majority. When family values are in decline and being replaced by the state, it is important to have someone representing them in the ruling. The young who did not get raised with important values such as respecting the elders might look at them with contempt.

More generally, embracing change is trendy, which is common among younger generations. For a car to function safely, the ability to slowing it down is an important function.
The cleverest defenders of faith are its greatest enemies: for their subtleties engender doubt and stimulate the mind. -- Will Durant
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Re: Ageism or common sense?

Post by PeterC »

Könchok Thrinley wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:58 am Okay, today I started wondering about one thing. Have you noticed how we are heading for doom and most of the world leaders are old farts? Trump is old, Biden left his mental vitality during Obama's administration and in my coutry our president can barely walk, there are rumors he cannot hold his stool and our prime minister is soon to reach 70 and steals our nation's future.

Like, shouldn't there be an age limit? In many functions we have a minimum age necessary to serve in that function. However, with aging population, shouldn't we have age maximum? Let's say 65 as the maximum age for presidential candidate. Is this an ageism or just common sense? I do not think that all old people are incapable of critical or are immoral. But we have age limit for drivers from both ends, why not for our leaders? For once I want someone around 40 to kill my dreams of having a house and a dog with my boyfriend, that's all I am saying.

What are your thoughts?
The reason this is difficult is that yes, faculties do decline as one ages, but the subject is often the last person to recognize this and does not want to accept it: but also one does gain experience and judgement with age, and that can have tremendous value, but you can never convince the young of its value until they’ve developed it themselves.

I don’t think you can or should put people through psychiatric or neurological tests. You could however put them through standard physiological examinations and make the conclusions of those public, and ones general physical health is often a useful indicator of how well the brain is functioning. For instance - if we had a president who was obese and had a stroke, then the results of his psychiatric examination wouldn’t be particularly important, we would know we needed a replacement.
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