Age discrimination is very real in the U.S. Sometimes I don’t believe that people really see the big picture on that one. I may not particularly like discrimination of any kind, however, do you guys believe that there is actually a time and a place for age discrimination?
For instance, not allowing people under 21 to consume alcohol is technically age discrimination. Yet, I believe that’s totally justifiable. Although, I will admit to you that I believe the age should be 18, not 21. If you’re perfectly eligible to go die for your country, you should be able to drink beer. Period. If you’re eligible to buy cigarettes and kill yourself slowly with chemicals and tar, you should be able to drink alcohol.
How about age discrimination with regard to older people though? Should an older person be allowed the same access to the same opportunities as younger people? Without question? Why or why not?
The reason I’m touching on this is because my mother is delusional. Not in general (although, she is in that regard as well), but with respect to her education and job opportunities. As you all have probably read previously, my mother is in college. She is over 60. While this is great and I love to see it, I can still see the big picture and I’m sad to say my mother has lost sight of that picture.
See, she believes that since she has a high grade point average, the government is going to fully fund her graduate school in a year or so. While I can totally see her getting certain grants and such for ongoing education, she believes that she’s got many scholarships coming her way. Simply because she’s a straight A student, oh and because she claimed Native American on the registration forms (even though we have zero proof of any native claims. ZERO.).
I can’t tell her where this reasoning is wrong, she refuses to listen. I know nothing about anything in her eyes, I’m well aware of this. But, in all seriousness, she has very little chance of getting most scholarships, she has to know this deep down. Right?? I mean, what incentive is there for a scholarship committee to award a 65 year old student a scholarship for continuing education based on need and grades over and above a student of significantly lesser years? There is none. Just like there is no incentive for an employer to hire people of advanced age for jobs that they’d really rather hire younger people for.
Let’s think about this rationally. A woman over 65 has probably 10-15 years left on her life give or take if we use national averages. How wise is it for a committee to waste possibly $12,000+ on a student who probably isn’t going to get very much out of the opportunity as opposed to giving that to a student who isn’t as old? Should this matter? How wise would it be for a corporation to hire someone of advanced age who is just now breaking into the career path but only has 10-15, maybe 20 years left on their life if they continue to work through that 20 year period?? Over and above someone who has significantly more life left to work through?
To me, it just makes sense, really. The discrimination in this case makes sense to me. I can see why it happens and why is going to happen to my mother. At best, I think she’ll come out of the deal with a couple of minor awards, meant for people like her. I think they’ll be insignificant when faced with the real bill of her education, though. Can you even get Pell Grants for grad. school?! In the end, I just don’t see much coming from all of this, but you can’t tell her that. In her eyes, she’s a 23 yr old chickadoo who has every right and opportunity that 23 year old chickadoos have. I think they call that……not being able to see the forest for the trees.
How exactly do you tell an older person that they’re barking up the wrong tree? Or should you even bother? What are your thoughts?