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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Who am I ?

“There is one particularly significant way in which grammar can amplify ageism within conversation.  When being introduced to a stranger and being asked who you are and what you do, with age you tend to answer with accounts of what you were and what you used to do.  What you are is a ‘former this’, a ‘retired’ that or and ‘ex-‘ the other. Even when you answer positively with a statement of what you are currently spending your time doing, the question remains hanging in the air. The sensitive stranger is perhaps reluctant to ask what you used to do and so the significant past remains unrevealed."

[1]  Quoted from a book by Bill Bytheway a retired Psychology Professor from England,  who is still actively engaged in the battle against ageism.


  1. Too true - most of us respond to this type of inquiry with our job or former) job title/function. Shows how caught up we are with getting and spending. I love the response His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives to this question - "I am simply a monk". I also find it interesting to note that he is looing forward to retirement!

  2. I too admire the Dalai Lama. My phrase, somewhat like his, is "We're all just people" While i am not a Buddhist I am practicing meditation, learned from a Buddhist friend. The letters of the key words are RAIN
    R= Recognize
    A= Accept
    I= investigate
    N= do not get attached
    Michael. May the force be with you?