Elders and Attitudes

Earlier this week, an acquaintance told me about an opening for a job that would require significant life experience plus people skills.

“Hire an elder,” I said automatically.

“We need someone who’s college-age,” they replied, probably with as much thought as I’d given.

I’d like to go back and ask that person what an elder might bring to that job that the prospective college-age hire could not possibly provide.

A podcast today reminded me to write about this.

One of the hosts asked the other why he looked beaten up.

“I fell down in the shower, like old people do.”

At seventy, falling in the shower wasn’t on my bucket list, but “I’ll have to remember that the next time I adjust the hot and cold.”

In contrast, on a recent tour in Pendleton, the woman in front of me motioned me forward.

“We remember that our elders go first,” she said.

Given a choice between age-biased hiring, “old people,” and elder?

I’ll take “elder” any time.

Afternoon Light through Glass Block Windows