We would recognize the aging process as an inevitable part of living, and our culture would embrace each generation for its unique contributions.There is beauty in life’s complexities that is diminished by simplistic and false assumptions about who we are based on how long we have lived.The shift in that perspective is more recent and is now constantly reinforced by stereotypes which glorify youth and reduce older people to caricature.

Studies show older men prefer youth and beauty first for mate selection and women choose men who offer resources and stability.

It's no surprise there are a number of websites emerging and profiting from these "mutually benefiting" relationships.

In a culture that glorifies youth, it is difficult to feel like you matter when you don’t feel you are seen.

Throughout most of my adult life, when confronted with a younger person demonstrating arrogance or disdain towards someone older, I found myself imagining what that person will be like in his or her senior years, wondering whether there will be loving family helping to provide care or whether there will be any future regret for their younger self’s failure to appreciate and respect the continuum of life.

“If I ignore it, then it cannot happen to me” is not a life mantra that changes outcomes.

So if I could change one thing about aging in America, it would be that we put an end to the “isms” that interfere with our ability to respect what each generation has to offer.

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So many ladies ask me what is up with older men dating younger women.

What a difference it could make if everyone were self-aware enough to see that no one is excluded from life’s inevitable cycles.

How different our lives could be if we all understood how foolish it is to perpetuate stereotyped notions of a person’s value based, in large measure, on age.

There is actually an evolutionary psychological theory surrounding this common "phenomenon".