When did we lose our voice? 74



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Many of us over 60 know the feeling of being invisible.

We get pushed out of the way by someone whose need to get on the bus is more urgent than ours – even though we are at the head of the queue and there are plenty of seats.

The same thing happens at the supermarket; we are not as dexterous at pushing the corner of our trolley into the quarter millimetre gap that means we get to unload our groceries first.

“It was always thus!”

Perhaps, but there was a time when we would politely but decisively say “Excuse me, I was here first” and the offender would stand back, sometimes even offering a “Sorry”. These days we are usually ignored and occasionally the sorry is replaced with an instruction to perform an absolutely impossible act even when were six, let alone 60!

So what has changed?

We all know many wonderful young people, so is the younger generation to blame for a our lack of voice? Teaching respect and manners was our generation’s duty – did we fail?

Have we heard only Mr Kipling’s “If you can fill the unforgiving minute, With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run” and ignored the equally strong “If you can wait and not be tired by waiting”?

Is it because the 40-hour working week our forebears fought so hard to achieve is effectively a thing of the past? Is there so much information available that we fear we will miss something if we don’t move now, leaving no place and no patience for those who are a little slower or greyer?

Or – have we older people given away our voice? Have we told the younger generation too many times that we have been there, done that and bought the tee-shirt? We know everything and they don’t; we earned what we have, they had it given to them on a plate; our interest rates were 17 per cent and higher, but we bought our houses; we had babies and no-one paid us maternity leave; we are owed our pensions because there was no superannuation and we worked for 40 or more years?

Have we developed voices so strident that we have become white noise? Have we whinged about the person who pushed in and not said firmly, “Excuse me”?

Have we become so blind to all but our own needs, that we fail to see there are limited resources? Did we squander the resources we had so now there ae no more to be shared?

Has the structure of our society changed so much that we do not revere our “Elders” but find them a drain on resources?

Are younger generations any worse than we were at their age? Are we invisible, do people fail to hear our voice, because that is exactly the example we gave them?

We could blame politicians of any ilk, but they are our children – did we teach them to be as they are? “I’ll take a pay cut to average weekly earnings” said no politician ever.

We have the opportunity for a new Voice, a collective Voice –  it’s called Starts at 60! It needs nurturing, it needs opinions, discussion, debate to thrive. But if the Voice becomes too strident, doesn’t allow for civilised disagreement, we’ll revert to being white noise.

Desiderata says it well: Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Please discuss, share and respectfully agree or disagree.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I don’t get pushed aside at the supermarket, I get in line like everybody else. I am 70 but for some reason I don’t seem to have all these problems that are up for discussion so regularly. I have not and never will lose my voice, I don’t seem to be ignored at all. How can I be so different, or is this just a big stir? I’ll be interested to read other opinions.

    9 REPLY
    • Helen I am all with you. A lot of us ‘oldies’ seem to think they need to wince, need special treatment just because we are older. You will always find rude ppl, trying to push in etc. Let them, don’t get your knickers in a knot. 9 times out of 10 you’ll end up in front of them in the end, and if not, what’s the heck. Just feel sorry for them and for your self- enjoy life😸😸

    • Totally agree lady’s I’ve never encountered any of this treatment, or have ever been made to feel invisible, some times I think this site just loves to stir the oldies up & give the negative people something to winge about, totally agree Debbie it time people stop feeling sorry for themselves & enjoy the positive things in life.

    • Oh yes, negativity is very tiresome, I agree with both Debbie and Lyn. Enough!! I’m alive, I have a roof over my head, enough money to be able to afford the Internet to air my views. I eat three meals a day and have clothes on my back. That makes me more fortunate than many who really have something to complain. My rant for the day, I’ll get back in my box and be good for the rest of the day.

    • Sometimes it’s just a case of thinking about their world at this moment. Maybe they are busier than we are. At this stage of life we have choices as to how busy we need to or want to be. Think I remember mmmm think so, when I was young I didn’t have so many choices. Life was busy, no avoiding. But I do get my back up when abuse steps in I must admit.

    • With you on this, I don’t intend to become invisible or voiceless. And I will not be affected by negativity.

    • I’m getting to the stage where I’m never sure whether or not to read a post from SAS, too much negativity and even scare mongering at times.

    • Is it scare monger I g or negative??? Maybe it sparks us all up to contribute and put another point of view for others to consider

    • Love the cat Lynette but still feel at times some of the posts do scare the elderly, and still too much negativity. It is good to see all sides though.

  2. We were once young and impatient and I am not convinced that we are any different to other generations of over 60’s. We are mostly at a time in our lives where we have relinquished our responsiblity for our childrens’ future, albeit sometimes reluctantly. Most of us have slowed down physically. We still live in a world that moves at a certain pace, we know the world can not be slowed down. We have more time to observe, we have experience behind us that is, or should be a bench mark on our own perceptions, and most of us still remember the bench marks of our own parents. The memories I have of my own parents, certainly confirm for me that they at times found my generation as difficult to understand and live with as “we” sometimes find the younger generations of today. Todays under 60’s are still experiencing their world and are yet to experience our capacity for reflection. – we still vote, we still have the opportunity to contribute through many forums, its still up to us to take those opportunities, otherwise we have relinquished, not lost our voice, there is a difference. We never did control the world or what happens around us,or to us and outside our immediate life, we never did control other people and their lives.

    1 REPLY
    • honestly, I feel what my parents taught me does not apply in todays society, its all different, and to live in this world I am going to have to change to survive, this does not mean that I agree with what is going on

  3. What we need is our own political party representing our now significant proportion of the population. If we had enough representatives in parliament they would not be able to wreck our retirements which we have worked and planned so long for. We have paid our taxes we deserve pension support, particularly in this time of such poor and unstable investment earnings and we deserve decent health care that is affordable to those on retirement incomes which are less than AWE. Don’t worry about white noise let’s have representation and plenty of noise to get what we have already paid for!

  4. “The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.” Socrates

  5. Personally I have not experienced invisibility. If we do, perhaps we need to be kind but politely assertive. Thereby living by example, showing good manners and acting as a role model. If it helps one person it is worthwhile.

  6. I’ve not noticed this. Yes you get rude impatient people but generally they are rude and impatient with all not just oldies. Occasionally in a shop the assistant will tend to ignore oldies, but I’ve stepped in a few times to see a child get their turn too.

    2 REPLY
  7. I’m trying very hard to be invisible….bring it on….I’m retired now! I only need to make decisions that involve my husband and myself! Selfish…..yep…..it’s my turn now!

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