Truth: We are born, and then we die.
We know this. I’m not sure if we think about it that often, and, yet, there it is. We don’t know when we’ll die; we know only that we will, eventually. The goal, however, is to lead as long and as healthy a life as we can. We have more control over our health and well-being then we know. Society, however, tends to favor youth, and, therefore, what happens is it may unintentionally (although I feel it’s intentional) be dismissing a growing population of those getting older. What I mean by dismiss is more like make ‘invisible.’
From a personal perspective, this became most evident to me when my mother was alive. As a general observation, I now see this all the time. My eyes are wide open. What is it that I’m seeing? My mother was a smart and articulate woman. When she moved into her late 80’s, she became a lot slower physically and, yet, was still sharp as a tack. She knew what she wanted and what she didn’t. When it was time for my mother to sell her home, she and I met with a few realtors. My mother was pretty set on one particular person, and, yet, she wanted to make sure it was the right fit. So, she met with other realtors.
What I observed every time we would meet with someone was that the questions would be directed to me. It was if my mother were invisible. What I did as a way of guiding the conversation was to look at my mother every single time a realtor would ask ‘me’ a question. I wouldn’t answer it. My mother, as well, saw that the person was not directing the questions to her. She was not happy about it. To her credit, my mother eventually had to say, You know, I’m the one selling my home. Please direct questions to me. I uttered under my breath; Yes! because I was seconds away from saying something myself. However, I didn’t want to embarrass my mother. I also knew that she’d handle it. And she did.
What I gleaned from these interactions was that there wasn’t any communication with my mother. People would make a snap judgement based on my mother’s fragility. Not cool. No one needs to be dismissed because of a perceived fragility. Living your life is challenging enough without adding the effects of ageism to the list. Being your truth means having compassion and understanding for all human beings.
I’m not naïve. I get it. A majority of people will never live their truth. They will struggle. They will screw people over or, worse, cause bodily harm. In a perfect world in which everyone was living their truth you wouldn’t need self-help or personal development guidance. However, the reality is; we all need help.