March 24, 2023

Having had the opportunity to visit several industrial or first world countries like Japan, Singapore, and the United States of America with my family through the years, this Ibaloy writer has always been pleasantly surprised to witness older people (aged 65 years and above) who are still actively working and gainfully employed, just like the 82-year-old lady cashier who we met at a candy store in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A fellow Filipino but now a proud U.S. citizen, the octogenarian said she has been working at the store for 20 years, which means she started at the tender age of 62. She said her work not only provides her with something to do but it, more importantly, makes her feel that she is contributing to society and still relevant.
Besides, she stressed she is still strong and has the energy of a much younger person. She also hates receiving charity or government dole-outs when she can still provide for herself. I’m sure that her sentiments are mirrored by her peers in the same age bracket who are still actively earning a living.
It’s great these highly-developed nations don’t discriminate against individuals of advanced age and allow the latter to work as long as they are still willing and able. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but this is so unlike here in our beautiful third world archipelago of greedy political dynasties where one is “put out to pasture” or retired and no longer allowed to be gainfully employed when they have reached the ripe old age of 65 even if he or she is still strong and willing to continue working. I’m sure we all know or are even related to senior citizens who are healthier and have keener minds than those who are much younger than them. My late lolo Pete and lola Priscilla Baban were like that.
Our government should take advantage of the experience that older people have acquired and allow them to continue working as long as they are still willing and able to do so. Besides, there is dignity in labor, and gainful employment not only helps financially but also gives one a sense of being an active cog in society despite being 65 or older. Also, continuing being active seems to increase one’s lifespan as compared to being “retired” or inactive and just “waiting to die”. Again, I could be wrong.
Anyway, we should put a stop to age discrimination or “ageism” in our society. Browsing the Internet, it is defined as “the stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel), and discrimination (how we act) towards others or oneself based on age.” Samples given in an article I read include refusing to hire people over or under a certain age, asking for someone’s age at a job interview when it is not relevant to the work, or enacting policies that unfairly privilege one age group over another.
Again, let’s put a stop to age discrimination or any kind of discrimination for that matter. Let us instead stop the proliferation of greedy political dynasties who continue to rule over our beloved but benighted nation. We all deserve better. Just saying. Peace.
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.