Ageism is deeply ingrained in our culture. How often do we assume the older person in our office is incapable of using email—and probably inferior? That baby boomers have a certain value system?
Susan Neiman fights the notion that growing older is a decline in Why Grow Up?: Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age. She believes we are living in an “infantile age”—an era in which we idealize childhood for its freedom and imagination and dread the coming of old age. Our entire society has lost track of why we should grow up in the first place—of the value of maturity and independence. Our culture, in fact, breeds dependency in both consumerism and work: smartphones are toys (and we get anxious when we’re away from them); there is a dramatic shortage of meaningful work. Neiman keeps coming back to the image of the ever-child, Peter Pan, as the whimsical figure we all envy.
– New Republic
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