It’s becoming fashionable to call the European youth „a lost generation”. It also becomes trendy to point to other social groups to say that they are the beneficiaries of a broken economic system that penalises young people– and European seniors are said to be amongst them.
The reasoning goes as follows – while seniors have stable pensions, the youth has precarious jobs. While seniors are growing in numbers and political power, the youth does not have the means to grow – no stable employment and no housing conditions to have children and therefore grow in numbers themselves.
It’s easy to be lured to this rhetorical trap of „privileged old people” that i.e. block waiting lists in hospitals. Solidarity in times of austerity tends to be a trade that Europe is lacking at present – with no exception towards its inter-generational aspect.
But things can be different – and many both youth and seniors’ organisations are trying to prove it. AGE is amongst them.
I’ve read the AGE Manifesto for the EP elections 2014 with huge interest. As a young person, I recently got engaged in animating journalistic activities of seniors living in the capital of Poland, Warsaw.
I’ve seen with my own eyes how working with them enriches me and how many stories can they show me and the crew of this project – „Zdaniem Seniora” (According to Seniors), organised by Fundacja Zaczyn.
The people involved told us one important thing – they do not only want a „senior-friendly world” – they want more inter-generational dialogue and work towards a better future for us all.
I find this spirit also in the AGE Manifesto that shows how discrimination can be a multi-dimensional issue and that we cannot be certain that if we allow it to prosper, it will spare us in the long run.
We now may be young, but we will get older (and that will happen eventually), and other negative issues, such as gender or LGBT discrimination will hit us even harder then.
Seniors wanting to have a right to work, learn or be fairly treated in medical facilities are therefore not fighting for some sort of „caste privileges” – they are also fighting to strengthen my rights in the future – that’s the main thought from the front page article of Adam Ostolski, a Polish sociologist and leader of the Green Party, that was published by my magazine – „Zielone Wiadomości” (Green News).
That’s a thought I could not agree more with.
Journalist of „Zielone Wiadomości” (Green News) magazine