Age is a relative term. To a 5-year-old, 12 may seem old. To a 12-year-old, 20, and so forth and so on. It seems like the older we get, the older we think “old” is. But do our perceptions of how we see old people ever change? The video above might surprise you.
Here’s a transcript of their interactions:
Interviewer: Hey, how’s it going? You can stand right there. That’s your mark. How you doing?
Woman: I’m great. How are you?
Interviewer: Just tell us your first name and your age.
Woman: My real age? [giggles]
Man: My name is Paulo. I’m 25 years old.
Woman: My name is Daniela, and I’m 19.
Man: I’m 26 years old.
Interviewer: What age do you consider to be old?
Man: Late 40s.
Man: Maybe 50.
Woman: [sighs] Umm…
Man: I feel like 30s is the new 20s. So I’d say like 40 is old.
Man: I’d probably say 50s.
Interviewer: I’d like you to show me how an old person would cross the street. Show me how an old person would send a text message. How might an old person do a push-up?
Interviewer: What about jumping jacks?
Interviewer: Okay. Hang on, there’s someone I want you to meet.
Birch: Hello, I’m Birch. I’m 66.
Daphne: Hi, I’m Daphne, and I’m 68.
Dee: I’m Dee, and I’m 55.
George: George Fastbinder,75.
Parvati: My name’s Parvati. I’m 70.
Woman: Nice to meet you.
Parvati: Nice to meet you.
Interviewer: We’re gonna give you about two minutes to teach each other something that you are good at.
Woman: Okay. Hmm. I can teach you a drop that I do.
Birch: Okay, please.
Woman: Both of your legs go up, and your arm goes up, and your left arm goes like this.
Woman: One, two, three, lift. One, two, three. And bring it to your heart. And bring it to your heart. And the head in. Yeah.
Dee: Try to get your balance and raise up. Now you can bring your legs and your feet up. [woman laughs]
Man: I can’t.
Dee: It’s hard, right?
Man: One, two, three, five, six, seven. So when you come out of a turn…
Woman: Oh, sorry.
Man: …either way you go back to that place.
Daphne: Over, now forward. Over. Yeah.
Man: Square it like this and give me a hook. Hook, jab cross. Hook. And then we’ll go like this. Right?
Man: One, two, three.
Interviewer: Now what age might you consider to be old?
Woman: Probably 80 or 90. [giggles] He could just do everything that I told him to do.
Woman: An age that I consider to be old now might be 100. [laughs]
Interviewer: Do you remember what you said?
Man: Yeah, I said in the 50s. I thought that would be old. But, when I thought about it, like…
Dee: Wait a minute. Now can I do it?
Woman: It really changed my thinking of what old is.
Woman: You’ve taught me something today. Clearly there’s no way she’s old, you know.
Man: Now I know from today, hey, I don’t look at age. [laughs]
Daphne: At my age I feel like I did when I was in my 20s.
Parvati: There’s so many things that I still want to do. There’s so many things that I can do. As long as I’m growing and learning, then age doesn’t matter.
George: When people start stopping that’s when they start getting old.
Woman: Thank you.
Man: You’re welcome.
Woman: Thank you so much.
Parvati: Thank you.
Woman: Thanks, Daphne.
Daphne: Thank you. It’s great meeting you.
Woman: How long have you been doing this? Is this a new skill?
Daphne: 40 years.
[Redefine what it means to age.]
This is just one of a series of brief but insightful selected videos I am posting that dispel basic myths, spotlight simple pleasures and demonstrate what is possible when we change our views on aging.
As you view each video, consider for yourself, how much society stands to gains when we switch our thinking from measuring people in terms of “years of value,” to “value in their years!”
Age discrimination impacts us all. Join me in making a difference now!
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