Not everyone loves old people. A friend my age was talking to me the other night and telling me why she has a bad taste in her mouth when she thinks of “old people”. Because my friend’s perceptions about the old are definitely not uncommon, I decided to look at one of the reasons why you (or someone you may know) may not be so fond of the elderly.
The old people I know are not great people – If you don’t like old people, chances are you probably know someone who you consider to be old and you don’t like them very much. Or maybe you don’t know them well enough to like them. According to my friend, one reason she doesn’t like old people is because her interactions with her grandparents have been mostly negative. And to add to that, these negative interactions are the primary interactions she’s had with old people in her life. I can understand the reasoning for the bad taste in her mouth.
I had an AHA moment that night when talking with my friend and realized this. The reason I truly appreciate older people is because I have had many and enough interactions with the older generation to realize that if I don’t like someone, it’s not because they’re old, but most likely because I JUST DON’T LIKE THEM! How’s that??! So if you don’t like someone who is old, consider this… Do you not like that person because of their age, or is it moreso that you just don’t like their personality? I’m guessing it’s the latter.
So here’s the big question for the night…
How many old people do you know??
It seems that your love for old people can really boil down to the number of interactions you have with the elderly. If you weren’t around the elderly much as a child, it’s not likely that you’ve met the majority of elderly people in the world and therefore, you may have a negative perception of them. The more old people you know, it’s more likely that you’ll come to realize that old people are normal people who just happen to be old. One day you’ll get there too and think, “I’m not old!”.
The truth is, if you only know three or four people who are over 65, you probably are basing your perceptions of old on a small small sample of the population. So perhaps in the future, I can introduce you to some more of the “old” friends I know and maybe in time, you’ll have a change of heart. =).