Would you agree that we’ve all recently been instructed that some names are not politically correct, and that they can be offensive ?
Regarding old people, strictly taboo now are the words ‘geezer, coot, or little-old lady’.
‘Fuddy-duddy’ and ‘old fogie’ are also terms that should never be used.
I suggest that we also stop using the term ‘senior citizen’, since it is patronizing.
First used in the United States in the 1930s, senior citizen is a euphemism, for ‘old person’, and it tries to disguise Western Cuture’s fear of aging and death.
As a young person, I lived for a time, and conducted research, in an Ojibway Community in Western Canada. There, I learned how indigenous cultures show great respect to the old people in their communities, called, the ‘elders’.This trait is admirable, and worth emulating.
Worldwide, many other cultures, including those of Korea and India show the older members of society great respect for the wisdom that age and experience can bring.
Perhaps changing the term ‘senior citizen’ to ‘elder’ could be a first step in reducing ageist attitudes that are prevalent in North America.
I may ask our local drugstore to start offering ‘Elder Discounts’, rather than ‘Seniors’ Discounts’.
May God give us the grace to be respectful of everyone.
Photo courtesy of iStock