Labeling our Assumptions

It’s only been in the last year or so that I’ve tried very hard to not use the phrase, “old people”. Part of that is because, as I age myself, the line between me and “them” blurs as much as my own fading eyesight.

But, another part has to do with this new/old way of looking at people.

It’s something I’ve been able to do ever since my son was born (23 years ago). I don’t know how but when I see people, I either can picture them as kids or as old people.

It doesn’t matter their age. It’s what I see/sense when I look into their eyes. I like to think this is one of the gifts I’ve been given because it alters the usual automatic assumptions that go along with a person’s outward appearance.

Which is where I’m going with this post.

When you look at this picture, what’s the thing you notice most? Use your automatic first impressions to tell me what you see.

Then, ask yourself what you think about what you saw and if you were in business and what you first noticed about this picture was something you might have a bit of a blind spot or a bias about.

For me, the first thing I saw was a woman with white hair. Then, I saw the brightly colored coat. Then, I noticed the construction of the coat.

But guess what my first impression was after my eyes registered “white haired woman”? Yep. “Old person”. After that, other labels and assumptions kicked in, all positive and dealing with individuality, creativity, handicrafts, and freedom of expression – the way my mother always emphasized the art of aging to me – but labels and assumptions nevertheless.

Which, I agree with, as I find myself becomi