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When Ageism Destroys Creativity

Creativity and innovation are often seen as a monopoly of “the young”. Young persons are supposed to be naturally more prone to the novel simply because they are young. The main issue with that sort of assumption is that it is also frequently accompanied by the idea that older persons do not have the same “drive”, or even worst, cannot be innovative.

In this moving video from the New York Times, the awarded writer Norman Lear is the central point for a number of lessons about old age.

The video also captures another important problem: the glass ceiling that is undermining older persons’ contributions to societies. In this case, Lear’s most recent creation was rejected under the premises that his show does not fit the right public: “it is not our demography”.

It is an old dilemma of consumerism. To keep the ball rolling, consumers must be constantly trashing “the old” to embrace “the new”. Companies can only survive if their clients continue to demand their products, therefore, products are not made to last. Within this context, it is hard to imagine a good place for the old.

As long as ageism continues to be acceptable, not only will the participation and inclusion of older persons be limited, but also their full potential to add to the society.

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