Positive Aging

By Katie Allen



At events like these, we often automatically recall our stereotypes as we gaze over the people. The older folks are stuck in their ways. The younger people are too engrossed in technology to carry on a real conversation. So we flock to the people we know best, who are most like us, because we live in a society of STPs, or “same ten people.” That’s according to Donita Whitney-Bammerlin, faculty member in Kansas State University’s College of Business Administration.

Whitney-Bammerlin said she believes generations of people need to better understand one another to maximize on the uniqueness that all people have to offer to a family, workplace or community.

“As humans we tend to get tunnel vision,” she said. “I think it’s important for people to realize certain strengths and weaknesses of people who are different than them.”

We see a greater disparity among generations today than ever before, Whitney-Bammerlin said, because we as a society have gotten away from two things: sitting down over a family meal and talking with one another, and progressing away from intergenerational living in the United States.

“I don’t think communities maximize the innovativeness and energy that may be with a young generation, or on the other side, sometimes we don’t maximize on the wisdom and experiences of senior generations,” she said.

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