Saturday, January 26, 2013

Approaching Irrelevancy

I am becoming irrelevant.
It didn’t happen overnight, but as a slow progression as the years added up.
First I passed the age where movie producers no longer cared about me and what I thought. (17-25)
Then, I passed the age where TV networks cared about me. (18-45)
Somewhere a little later I passed the age where any company wants to hire me because I might increase their company medical costs and because I wouldn’t settle for wages that were too low to actually live on.
Next I reached the age where AARP started sending me information packets and membership applications.
Then I hit the age where I had to apply for Medicare.
Now I’m getting mailers from insurance companies for term life insurance and mail from funeral service providers.
Before you start thinking this is all whining, remember you have already passed a few of those milestones listed above.  You, too, are slowly becoming irrelevant.
The question is, why do we make people less and less important as they age?
Foreign cultures revere their older citizens, or at least appreciate their experience and wisdom while we, as a nation, seem only concerned with the cost of keeping older people alive and healthy in our society.
It may be an over simplification, but can you think of any other reason for the obsession to cut funding for Medicare and Social Security?  It’s all talk about how much those programs are costing us and none about the consequences to the citizens, mostly older citizens, when these programs are gutted in the name of fiscal responsibility.
We used to brag about how we were the greatest nation on earth.  That myth seems to have been exploded in the financial collapse of 2007.  Now we can’t seem to get out of our own way and spend all out time in partisan bickering.
The two major political parties seem to have no greater agenda than gaining control and keeping it.  Once they have a measure of control they don’t seem to be able to do any actual governing.  Neither of the parties seems to be able to reach a real compromise on the problems facing us as a country.  It’s all about how their side is “right” and how they won’t let the other side “win”.
Well, that just doesn’t cut it!
And it’s time for us, the marginalized, those of approaching irrelevancy to do something about it.
There was an old adage about WWII where a person bemoans the fact he stood aside and let others who weren’t his “kind” be taken away and when it came time for him to be taken away there was no one left to stop it.
That’s where we stand today.  Oh, no one is being taken away, but we are being made irrelevant and marginalized and unless we do something about it we will all surely fall.
I am tired of being irrelevant.  You should be too.  You should be tired of the efforts to make you that way.  If you dismiss this, then who will speak up for you when you reach the next age where no one cares about what you think?

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