People will also say things like, “You look amazing” and then add, “for your age.” This implies that youth is superior and something we automatically prefer. Or they will say, “What do you know, you’re only 20. Get a life and come back to me when you have learned something one day.” These comments show the unconsciousness and generalizations applied to chronological age.
It takes awareness to address agism as a diversity issue, which is as important as racism, nationalism, religious intolerance, and body image type-casting. We have learned, through years of protest and social upheaval, that racial slurs are not tolerable. But we still have not fully awakened to the damage agism incurs. So it will continue until we evolve beyond it and recognize the dignity of every age group and its contribution to the benefit of the world.
Mozart was 5. Grandma Mose was 99. Both were tremendous creative talents that transcended the mere number of their days on this earth. When more people begin to see this, agism will go the way of sexism, where women were not thought to be as advanced or evolved as men and therefore should not be able to vote. The absurdity of agism will be revealed, but it is not there yet.