Have you had these experiences—perhaps from a family member, an employer, or even a friend?
- People use an extra-loud baby voice when speaking to you
- They smile uncomfortably—not speaking if they disagree with what you say
- They talk around you not to you
- You are not considered as a serious candidate for a job promotion
- Conversations focus on your limitations
- Others consider you a duty rather than a delight
They are really saying that you no longer qualify as young. In the worst case, the polite condescension can mean you no longer matter.
There is no need to wave placards or have a protest, but those on the receiving end of such treatment should not sit idly and smile politely at the ignorance of others. Speak up. Respond with the courtesy which has not been extended to you. Challenge their old-ass beliefs! Demonstrate that you are an equal, a person capable of expressing an intelligent viewpoint. Delight in telling them when they’re totally wrong. Seek the company of those who value your ideas—especially of those who do not agree with you.
Such skills come with practice. Effectiveness comes with learning how to challenge without being confrontational. Use grace and humor honed by years of maturing–face-to-face dialog–not Facebook-level meanness, gossip, or hiding behind a persona and anonymity.
Speaking and behaving in a manner worthy of the Creator includes demonstrating wisdom and intelligence. If you have not had the experiences described in the list above, more than likely you will. Meanwhile, do not succumb to the temptation of treating those around you like they are worthless—do not ignore them. The disabled, the elderly, the chronically ill, the weak have riches to share.