Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Letter of the Day | Age prejudice threat to social order

Published:Tuesday | April 4, 2017 | 12:00 AM


The past few decades have seen what I consider a rather hostile response to the aged of our society. It is as though we have become very unaccepting of senior persons holding prominent leadership positions, especially in the public sector.

I recall very vividly, some time ago, when flight attendants on a particular airline were replaced with younger ladies. It has now almost become a norm to expect that once persons attained to a certain age and are holding certain prominent or leadership positions, those persons should automatically be replaced with younger people. Whenever their departure is not forthcoming, they are labelled with uncomplimentary labels as dinosaurs, and there is almost a protest for them to go.

Recently, there was transition in leadership in the People's National Party, and as usual, the media sought to interview the incoming leader. The interviewer on a popular current affairs programme did not disappoint. The first question posed was one of age and whether at such age the interviewee could make a worthwhile contribution.

Do not get me wrong. I am all for young people being promoted. I enjoy seeing young people moving up the promotional ladder. However, if a senior person occupies a particular position and is still capable of making a worthwhile contribution to society, there should not be so much protest for them to step down.

It is my view that a harmonious relationship between old and young is certainly a great recipe for growth. Further, what kind of society are we really encouraging when, as soon as persons reach a particular age, they are discarded as irrelevant. Those who are now young, is this the way we wish to be treated when we become seniors tomorrow? Don't we realise that the young will get old one day?

I am all for an all-inclusive society where young, old, males and females, everyone has a place to work together in true respect.