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Age Segmentation

Monday, April 27th, 2009
Posted in Advice by Joel Gross

Today’s world is unfortunately strongly segmented by age group.‚  Instead of the traditional tribe style family group where young and old are together all the time, the young stick together with their peers and older people move to retirement communities in Arizona and Florida or hide out with their friends in their home towns.‚  I think that this hurts both the young people who miss out on learning from the older generations experience and harms the old who only see sickness and death around them.‚  Below is a letter from my grandma and my response:

Hi Joel,
We’ve been thinking about you and wondering if all is well.‚  I know when you’re young, time goes by! (It does when you are old, too!).
Nothing much new here–we’ve been watching sports to entertain us.‚  It’s getting a little difficult to get out so that’s a pretty good pass time.‚  Judeen was down last week and that was a plus.
I’ve been helping my sister and her hubbie get settled in a snazzy retirement home.‚  They have their house for sale and had an estate company come in and do a sale for them.‚  He is in poor health.
Papa’s sister, Marcella is in hospice in Mpls and has only days to live.‚  She has a fast growing malignant brain tumor.‚  I don’t know if we’ll make it back there for her funeral or not.
Would love to hear how things are going for you.‚  We miss you boys so much.
Love,
Grandma
My response:

Grandma,I’m sorry to hear about Papa’s sister and your brother-in-law’s health problems.‚  It’s unfortunate that our society segments people by age group.‚  I think everyone would be better off if young and old mixed together more often.‚  Your generation has a lot of wisdom and experience to pass on, and younger people can bring fresh life and joy into older folks lives.‚  Most everyone I interact with is between the ages of 22-50 (heavily weighted towards people in their twenties).‚  I don’t know anyone in poor health, outside of older relatives like you who occasionally contact me.‚  It sounds like most of the people around you are having significant health issues.‚  Spending time with the older generation would help people my age appreciate life more, and would give your generation a healthy dose of youth & vigor.‚  What do you think?

Joel

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