Our ageist society rears its ugly head again and again
By Bette Dewing
If my Yom Kippur column had to be bumped from the last issue, I"m glad it enabled more apartment building workers space to be honored, because we tenants often take their services, which are so indispensable to everyday life, for granted.
Here"s a radical and daring idea. To tell one another (very tactfully) what the other ought to repent for. It can be right helpful for each of us to recognize our faults, and the scriptures do claim: â€œBetter the sharp reproof than the love that will not speak. Now, where"s Dr Ernest Campbell"s great related sermon's oops, I mean essay about â€œspeaking the truth in love, not the in spite kind often found in cyberspace. Repent that!
We"d all be better off believing, as doorman Jose Temprano does, that â€œa church or temple is the best place to lose a wallet because people there are usually honest. This was said after I attended the Epiphany Church on York Avenue"s annual Blessing of the Animals service and left feeling hopeful at the frequent smiles exchanged's thanks to the doggie presence. I didn"t even know my wallet was missing until the minister telephoned later to say it had been found on the church floor.
Although a frequent critic of religious groups (i.e., too few smiles exchanged and age groups segregated with the younger ones favored), I do so believe in the inestimable good that faith can do. Indeed, I behave better when in touch with repentance, atonement and â€œlove one another ideas. And I worry a lot about society"s waning interest in faith's even on the High Holy Days.
Consider that Andy Rooney might not have said he â€œfeared dying's a lot in his final 60 Minutes appearance if he"d had some of that faith. As for his â€œhating old age, there"d be less to hate if he"d denounce society"s aversion to growing and being old's and â€œlooking it, above all in the custom and view-shaping media where older men patch or dye their hair and women must be model-pretty. It would sure help to hear more about Rooney"s large family as a natural support system, not only in old age!
But who will take Rooney"s place?
Well, I"m available, but my long crusade against ageism and age apartheid may over- or disqualify me. But with real repentance, CBS would want someone who needs a cane and maybe a walker or wheelchair in the future. Someone who needs a hearing aid (make them affordable!) and several new teeth (make them affordable!) and looks their age!
And they won"t have to mind an elder social critic demanding â€œFull speed back to G-rated TV fare! Or who is gung-ho for low-speed, safe traffic conditions and lawful traffic behaviors you never see on the tube.
But for now, dear safety-first walkers who have long lamented safety-last-type bicycling, you must turn out big-time (like two-wheelers do) for Community Board 8"s full board meeting at 6:30 p.m, Wednesday, Oct. 19 at Marymount College, 221 E. 71st St. Urge the board to approve a bike licensing bill.
And call Jackson Heights-based State Assemblyman Michael DenDekker (718-457-0384), whose aide, David Shoreland, informed CB8"s Transportation Committee meeting of another bill to stem two-wheeled scofflawry. Heedless scootering? Shush's first things first!
But a mass repentance by all traffic law-breakers, including the two-footed kind, is long, long overdue. It"s especially needed by the foot-pedaling kind before the invasion of the Bike Share Program"s 10,000 silent fast-movers for any who have the price of the rental's no experience needed. Help! Help! And more help!
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