Reya at Gold Puppy started me thinking about middle age this morning. And I hope that if nothing else happens in our culture and society over the next many years, it will allow women to age gracefully and with dignity. For far too long woman have been victimized into believing that their looks, body and sex appeal were their only real attributes. We have sliced, diced, dyed, and abused ourselves into believing we could somehow hang on to our youth. But it is a natural process to contract. We are a microcosm of the world and universe. We are born, we expand, maybe multiply, then we begin to contract, and eventually die. As it is with all living things. Without acceptance of this process we do not allow the richness, that is a woman in the latter part of her life, to be accepted and revered. As it should be.
Of course, the same applies to men. How many old men do you just never pay much attention to? We believe that our old people have no value because our society is obsessed with youth and beauty. I think of all the men on Viagra and other "male enhancements" to hang on to the youth and vigor that was once so easy. Can these drugs be good for you? Seriously, do you think mixing these drugs with whatever else older men have to take can "enhance" their health? And what about the beauty of an older man? He has experienced so much to get where he is in his middle to latter years. Most men have worked all their lives for their families, only to be marginalized because they no longer can keep up with people in their twenties or thirties. What about all the knowledge, history, trials and errors that he has gone through that could be of value if someone only listened? Couldn't our senior citizens have warned us of an economic blowout if they had lived through the 1930's? Why does history keep repeating itself when it comes to economic policy? Because it is run by younger men and women that are focused on self, and not the greater whole. They are in the expanding stage of their lives.
I would hope we will look at our elderly differently in the future, and not just because I am headed that way. I would hope they will be there to teach their families, including their grandchildren, what they have learned - and have it accepted as information of value. I would like people to see the beauty of an aging woman. She is the contraction of life. As much a part of the lifespan as youth. The respect should be there. Don't you think?