Apparently, we need a special name because we are getting older. Some folks seem to think so. That includes a professor of Psychology and the Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity at Stanford University who, in an Op-Ed article in the Washington Post at the end of December, 2017, suggested that the name “Perennials” might be a good term to saddle us with.
It’s actually a pretty good article, but it presupposes that we need to have some sort of special identification when we become a certain age; that there is a pressing need for a new category to describe older adults in this world of overly categorized and self-segregated people, so we won’t be offended when younger generations refer to as “older”. At least that’s what the article says. Being “Seniors” isn’t good enough. Some of those reading this are “Baby-Boomers”. That was generational and I don’t hear it used much.
What will we be told the “Perennial” stereotype (excuse me, I mean “characteristics”) will look like? Hunched over posture? Immobile? Infirm? Weak? Feeble? Or can we choose that stereotype to be Active, Self-actuating, Fit, Healthy, Independent, filled with energy and enthusiasm about life?
I pray we won’t be characterized as victims, demanding of special treatment and recognition like the rest of the self-identified groups that have so recently popped up?
Or just maybe we can recognize our own individuality and take care of our own side of the street first, before demanding that people identify us as a group in need.
One of the letters to the editor in response to this article suggested that she (the letter writer) was born in 1940, the “generation without a name”. She said, “. . . I appreciate the fact that no one gave us a label. What a gift! And I would like it to stay that way.” YES INDEED!
Of course, that means taking care of ourselves, being personally responsible for ourselves, moving our bodies, having a positive mindset, becoming self-actuating, and not thinking of ourselves as needy.
If we can’t reflect those attributes in the way we come across to ourselves and others, then perhaps it’s time to re-think our attitude.
All this is one more reason to take a close look at ourselves and see how we stack up with our own identity, and not let others “editorialize” our generation into a group that is already so diverse within itself, that to categorize us would be a travesty of the truth — the same as it is with so many “named” groups now.
Like the woman who wrote the letter to the Editor above, I was born in 1940. I will confess that I like Dan Rather’s term: The Greatest Generation.
What happens when today’s “Millennials get old? Will they be called “Millennial-Perennials”?
Next week, back to Health, Fitness and Personal Energy for active Perennials.
Thank you for reading.