DEAR ABBY: I am now joining the ranks of those who have read your column for years, but have never written until now.
As a 65-year-old woman, I was appalled with the piece you printed on the glories of youth. According to you, everything that is positive is equated with being young: vigor, self-confidence, hope, courage and beauty. But everything negative is equated with being old, such as fear, pessimism, cynicism and hopelessness.
Abby, have you any idea how ageist this is? It makes being old abhorrent and depressing.
When I proudly tell people that I am 65, they say, "Oh, you don't look that old," as though they were paying me a compliment. In reality, it is an insult. What is a 65-year-old woman supposed to look like?
I am no longer young and have no desire to pass as "young." At my age, I am more creative, have more self-confidence, hope and spirituality than at any other time in my life.
Abby, we have learned a lot about racism and sexism; let us now open our minds to ageism. We need to proclaim "old" as something positive.
In closing, let me share a quote I saw on a button where there were many senior citizens.
"Youth is a gift of nature; age is a work of art." -- JOAN CATLOVER, GULFPORT, FLA.
DEAR JOAN CATLOVER: Your philosophical attitude is admirable and well worth remembering. Thank you for writing; I'm saving your letter for encouragement in my old age.