The Ageist Paradigm. This article in Psychology Today discusses ageism in our society, the "ism" that nobody talks about. When you reach a certain age, you are somehow deemed too old in many environments; including Big Law and other large organizations. Mandatory retirement ages are often just a way of clearing the decks of those of us who have been lucky enough to dodge death. The Stoics tell us "Memento Mori", or remember that we all die. Then, when we wake up to another day, we are more prone to use it wisely. Solo law practice means that I get to go to work every day, and nobody but my clients can tell me to quit. I am writing about this today, as I reach another milestone, my 70th birthday. However, I prefer to think about my mental age, which is between 10 and 30, depending on whom you ask. You really are only as old as you think you are. I have always challenged the "age paradigm", as this article frames the question. The article also says this:
"Something is seriously amiss in our culture. Materialism, consumerism, and the quest for youth, combined with fear of aging and denial of death make for a culture that is strangely arrested in an adolescent dream. When the later chapters of life are feared, elders demeaned, and rejection of death come together, is it any wonder there can be widespread depression among elders? "
So, for all those who want to risk it, remember the plaque hanging on my office wall:
"OLD AGE AND TREACHERY SHALL DEFEAT YOUTH AND SKILL".