Searching for Facts in a Post fact world
- Written by J.J.
This is an opinion blog. It represents only my opinion and not that of way2age.
I'm concerned about America. Are you? Conspiracy beliefs are on the rise. Politicians have reached a new low in failing to tell the truth. States controlled by one party are rolling back voting rights which will impact people of color and older Americans. Like you, I care deeply about this country. Without voting rights for all and a commitment to the principles of democracy our country could quickly turn into something we never imagined and we're perilously close to that reality.
How did this happen? In the beginning it was a gradual process. For many years there were few sources of media and the local paper or local news delivered the consensual facts of community. We held different points of view on those facts but we shared their reality. We shared the same facts, the same news. Back then we also shared more space with one another, met one another in public spaces, and often knew each other by name. We had relationships with neighbors. Now we may not even know their names. Today 90% of the news is owned by 6 corporations. As media conglomerated it began to grow more slanted/less objective and politicized. Up until recently however, most television media weeded out false information and broadcast facts that could be corroborated. The 1969 moon landing is an example. Here was an event no one on earth witnessed first hand and yet all news stations agreed it happened. They showed it happening. When astronauts landed we saw their capsule splash down and heard their testimony. We could research the event. It was a fact. We could corroborate it several ways. Yet conspiracy theories about that moon landing persist among roughly 5% of Americans. That one small step for man, according to some, was a giant deceit against mankind. The conspiracy, launched by a single skeptic, was propelled by movies, investigative television, and the cultural climate of change and uncertainty then-- a climate not too unlike what we have today. In the 90's the dawn of "reality" television helped to blur the lines between fact and fiction by contriving, in some cases, situations that were then presented as spontaneous and real.
What's Age Got To Do With It?
- Written by J.J.
What's age got to do with it? Everything. As a whole, those of us over 65 are using our later years to continue working and improve our communities. Presidents Biden and Trump rank #1 and #2 as oldest to ever win the presidency. Roughly 1/2 of congress is over 65 years of age. Our cohort is most likely to vote, least likely to not vote, and wealthier than younger generations. For better or worse only 24% of us intend to retire at 65 according to a Transamerica study. In other words, the country is politically and economically controlled by those of us over 65 and the future is in our hands.
What's age got to do with it? Nothing. Physical barriers are falling and boomers are redefining what it means to age. Healthier habits, exercise, and a stronger understanding of how to care for our bodies have contributed to greater vitality in later years. That energy is allowing us to explore our power and interests after raising a family or ending a career. Some coin the time between mid-life and very old age as gerontolescence. That term captures the energy that is often released when we face our mortality and have experience we want to share with the world or personal goals that we'd like to realize before it's too late. Another term is gerotranscendence. In a previous blog about the concept I quote Loretta Brewer of the Arkansas Geriatric Education center who explains that, "we can experience a breakthrough after 65 on how we view ourselves and our world that allows us to transcend our limitations and circumstances." Regardless what we call it good health and good fortune enable us to experience rich personal years after 65 and they fortify us with time and energy to make our world a better place.
2020 Year in Review
- Written by J.J.
Whew, 2020 is over.
You may have tuned into January 2020 in the middle of the President's Impeachment Trial. You'll recall that The House of Representatives Impeached Donald Trump in December 2019 and sent those articles of Impeachment to the Senate for a vote in January. However, before the Republican led Senate could vote to acquit the President a shock jolted America. 42 yr old basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his young daughter Gina were killed in a fiery helicopter crash. Anyone following the story was reminded that life is short and nothing insulates us from tragedy. That insight would have relevance all the way through the troubled events to come in 2020. And, yet, this is America so even in this challenging year there were breakthroughs, advances and reasons for hope.
Set Your Table With an Inflammation Fighting Feast
- Written by J.J.
Inflammation is by nature a healer that protects us when we're injured or infected but it can also become chronic. Chronic inflammation is a quiet disrupter in our bodies linked to heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, cancers, dementias and many other health concerns. In fact you may be surprised to know that chronic inflammation is a factor in 50% of deaths in the US and around the world. Fortunately your diet can help. We know a wide range of foods that combat inflammation and, on the flip side, have identified foods commonly eaten that cause inflammation. You can fight inflammation before it triggers disease. Set your winter tables with anti inflammatory foods and enjoy healthier living and delicious feasts!