Young or old, years of life say nothing!
by Eduard Schaepman, on 9 Jul 2020
Yesterday it was time for cake and champagne again, and another year added to my age. If fully agree with the thought of the Hunza tribe from Pakistan: you’re as old as your experience, knowledge and achievements. It means that two men (or women, or man and wife) born in the same year can have a different age. One may have achieved more in his life and is therefore older than the other. So, at the Hunza you can meet someone with the age of 149, but who is actually 40 with a large farm, many cows, beautiful family, and so on. So according to the Hunza thought, you could say; years of life say nothing about the individual.
That is quite a refreshing mentality for our society, where people are quite generalized and even discriminated by age. It starts at an early age, when, as a 12-year-old, you want to go to that exciting movie, but you're refused at the door because your delicate child's soul wouldn't be able to stand it. As a 17-year-old you are still toasting with apple juice, because the development of your brain could be disturbed, which can also lead to accidents. We know enough stories of elderly people who have gotten behind the wheel with one sip too many... So, whether that assessment is accurate... And that perception even varies from country to country: in Belgium, people start with a beer or a glass of wine from the age of sixteen and are only allowed to drink liquor from the age of 18. I don't know if that's such a disaster, but age discrimination really doesn't only occur in the workplace.
For example, age is regularly taken into account when renting out a house or apartment. Not renting it out to young people because they will tear things down with all those parties? Or not renting out to older people because they will not maintain the house and garden? Due to the corona crisis, over seventy-year-olds are excluded from voluntary work by various organizations, they all get a 'risky' stamp, even the top fit, sporty ladies and gentlemen with this age. It is all age discrimination.
Of course, there are cases of age discrimination that cannot be ignored - a child is still developing and is only allowed to do certain things from the age of 18. But this discrimination at an older age really has to stop. I believe that we need to assess on a person-by-person, case-by-case basis, in the workplace, at banks, in every field. I also wrote it a few weeks ago, during the intelligent lockdown: if a 70-year-old is fit and doesn't actually belong to the risk group, and wants to go out himself, why don't we allow that?
Your age says nothing about you. You're as old as you feel, and fortunately you have a lot of influence on that yourself!