To Time to Shine Leeds, my delighted thanks! Why?… for asking me to speak at the launch of your campaign Age Proud Leeds.
And do you know why it matters so much to me? It is because you are the first city in the UK to pick up and take on the need for an Age Proud campaign. I only began the #AgeProud blog and Twitter campaign in May 2019, and here you are! Thank you.
I love that you picked ‘Time to Shine’ as your name. How right you were. Now is the time you can shine a light on later years. Illuminate them! We are at an amazing, fascinating stage of our lives, aren’t we? But younger people don’t know that, do they?
Not only that, you made another good decision. You decided to have a positive focus on ageing and ageism. About being proud of your age, of the experience, maturity, the toughness you have acquired and how busy you are!
We can of course attack ageism. It needs to go! But maybe we need to think about what it is really being thought? Ageism is a result of not understanding ageing, isn’t it? Could it be that it is fear of ageing? Yet what is there to fear? Reaching later years is a success story! Most of you will have discovered, as I did, that later years are a very happy surprise. Great years in fact.
We can persuade people that ageism is actually rather odd, can’t we? Which it is when you think about it. Ageing is all our futures, isn’t it? Let’s get them to see that it is an achievement to get there, something to be proud of, and a time of life to enjoy
The Age Proud Leeds campaign will be ideal to get all of that on show. Take the fear out of ageing! Start seeing it as a bonus time to enjoy the you that you have spent years creating. A period of freedom, fresh challenge and that sense of “Made it!”
Not ignoring the problems we face as we age. Of course not. They exist. They have to be addressed, avoided, coped with, minimised. But dwelling on negatives doesn’t help, does it? Older people are tough, have learned to cope, and evidence is showing quite clearly that a positive attitude helps enormously.
Look forward to meeting you all at the launch on October 3 and hearing what you are doing. Your positive view of life will make all the difference!