Seniors Get Things Done

Ours is a generation that has lived through a great deal. Some of us were impacted by war, some of us by sweeping reforms and civil unrest in the 1960s, the days of protest marches and sit-ins, and some us remember both the economic “boom” and economic “bust” times. Despite what our grandchildren might have to say about it – we not only embrace new technology, we invented much of it! In short, it’s about time we applauded the efforts of those of us 50+ and our continued ability even now, as seniors, to get things done.

If you perhaps needed a little psychological boost today (or ammunition the next time one of your kids or grandkids calls you out of touch) we’ve compiled a list of the many areas in which today’s seniors were yesterday’s problem solvers. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that yesterday’s problem solvers are all washed up. The folks who invented computers can certainly take on a challenge like mastering Zoom calls or FaceTime. As for being told we can’t do something? Watch and learn from a group of seniors about how to lead a peaceful sit-in during a pandemic. More on that in a minute – but first our list!

At least 12 Ways We Made The World a Better Place!

Post World War II to now:

  1. Microwave Ovens – freeing up time in the kitchen and spawning a revolution in the food industry.
  2. Polio Vaccine – preventing the progression of a dreaded disease.
  3. Seat Belts – preventing the untimely death of millions worldwide.
  4. Portable Calculators – an invention treasured by math-weary students everywhere!
  5. The Invention of Video – leading to a generation of acronyms like VHS/VCR and Betamax – precursors to PVR’s and digital downloads.
  6. Computers and Personal Computers – youngsters these days will never know the pain of “Going to the Library” or the Dewey Decimal System
  7. The Internet (originally the World Wide Web hence )
  8. Disposable Contact Lenses – for which male and female “shades” wearing fashionistas are forever grateful!
  9. Travelled to Space / The Space Shuttle – conspiracy theorists need to reply to this post!
  10. In Vitro Fertilization – making parenthood possible where no hope previously existed.
  11. Personal Radios / Walkman/IPod – leading to an entire earbud-wearing generation of people who have literally tuned in and tuned out
  12. Cellular Phones/IPads – creating access to information for anyone, anywhere with a wifi connection and enabling employers to always be in touch with their employees. (With the good, sometimes comes the bad!)

This list is of course, by no means exhaustive but rather, a highlight real of just some of what the collective “we” has accomplished in the last 50+ years. During that same time, we learned how to advocate for change for a safer workplace, to advance the cause of women at work, in politics and in the world at large, to force political change, to push for advancements in law, in health care, in education and so much more. We protested war and stood up for democracy – we got things done.

It should come as no surprise then, that when a group of seniors was recently met with restrictions on their movements and ability to spend time outdoors due to rules put in place in the retirement community housing they lived in – it was met with swift and sure protest and a mini-rebellion of sorts. Told that as a result of COVID-19 protocols they could not gather, outdoors, on a community patio and met with signs posted throughout the common areas stating this prohibition now existed, a group of seniors took it upon themselves to get things done. In this case, a series of phone calls, a flurry of emails, and a sit-in, on the very patio they were being denied access to, took place within hours of the signs being erected. In short order their public health governing body weighed in, management of the facility weighed in and a small group representing all the seniors pressed their case. By day’s end, permission to return to the courtyard was granted and the next morning, staff removed the signs. Seniors – still getting things done!