Seniors: Productive Aging and Unproductive Behaviors

Nov 5th, 2009 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

I guess its because I have so much interface with older persons that the contrasts jump out at me as they do.  This is one:  productive aging and unproductive behaviors.  For the most part, most of the time, in most settings the former is the acted out version of the people who are growing older that I experience. That’s good news.  I am just fortunate enough to traffic with folk who want the best from life and whose choices come down on the side of kindness, thoughtfulness, consideration and grace that I expect most people are that way.  Doesn’t turn out always that that is the case.  But one can only hope that it springs eternal. 

The kinds of folk I know are full of humor, comfortable with smiling, generally interested in others, not focused on themselves and their own issues, happy to be, pleased to be breathing, and genuine in their friendship.  Folks like that have come to an appreciation  and acting  out of productive aging.  Those who can’t do these things to call upon these behaviors may have come to that time when it is just beyond their capability, not because they are old grunts, but because they are faced with more hurdles than we can imagine.

Productive  aging isn’t always the choice we would like it to be.  Sometimes the body and the mind and all the other parts that we have come to depend upon just aren’t very dependable.  However, for so long as choices and cognitive functioning is in our favor  to avoid unproductive behaviors that may give us the armor to enjoy productive aging. 

Most people I know want to be kind and beneficent toward others. There are those, however, who choose otherwise.  I was in an Assisted Care Facility where an African American aide was there to care for one of the residents.  She announced to me, upon our meeting, that she hoped I wasn’t one of the “many” racists she was having to deal with while there.  How utterly sad, for her and for those who would stoop to be so unkind.  If a person has reached 80 or 90 or so and continues to be belligerently and thoughtlessly unkind, its about time someone called attention to that behavior to let them know that’s why they have few or no friends.  Sorry, but a  dose of reality is sometimes the best medicine.  Bad behaviors are sometimes infectious behaviors.  No one needs to be affected or infected by persons whose attitudes are malicious and mean.  On the other hand, they could do well to experience a shot of kindness and gentility and goodness.

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