I publish an inspirational magazine about seniors who are living life to the fullest, so I’m startled when I hear someone say, “I won’t ever call myself a senior.” Or “I won’t be part of anything that has the word ‘senior’ connected to it.”
When did “senior” become a four-letter word?
A word that can evoke such strong emotion warrants investigation. What is it that repels some people, while not others?
Throughout history society has tended to judge harshly those they feel are unacceptable or weak by virtue of a physical characteristic or lifestyle choice.
Discrimination based on mental or physical capacity, gender, sexual preference or skin colour, has subsided immensely, replaced by an understanding and acceptance that these differentiating qualities are immaterial to the true value of the person.
By standard definition, “senior” is a word used to compare age; “senior” versus” junior”, “older” versus “younger”. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to wrap words into a story, attribute characteristics, imbue value and then pass judgment. This is what I believe has happened with the word “senior.”
In my experience, aversion to the word “senior” is primarily born out of fear and perception that is mythical in nature. It has no real substance. It is nothing less than a feeling that arises from a thought we create by projecting our life forward, where we colour the unknown with the probability that life will be untenable, unacceptable, severely limiting and ultimately painful in nature.
With this vision of the future assaulting us, it is understandable that the response would be a negative feeling.
But what if we were to propel ourselves forward, without colouring it with PROBABILITIES of doom, but rather, POSSIBILITIES of expansion and greatness, of achievement and fulfillment, of brilliance and sustained happiness, of opportunity and success?
It is up to you which mindset you choose.
Are you gambling on the probability that you will lose it as you round the bend at age 65? Are fear and false perception propelling you toward a life filled with dread? Or are you framing your future with possibilities?
I choose to believe in possibility.
We have the power to transform our lives through what we focus on. It is high time, I believe, to make the shift, like we did with other prejudices, to acceptance and appreciation of the word “senior.” Try it on, as a friend not an enemy.
Believe in your value, no matter your age. Celebrate when you see someone who is too busy doing and living to worry about how old they are. Challenge yourself with the possibility of living life to the fullest without letting fear of aging slow you down.
Walk into the next chapter of your life without hesitation. Prepare to meet an extraordinary, gifted person who is confident, passionate and filled with joy. Be prepared to love the senior YOU.