Amazing Brazilian Law
Okay. I admit that this picture is not taken in Brazil. However, it was taken in China where they do revere older people! So, that is my justification for its inclusion. Today in the Wall Street Journal I happened upon an article that was fascinating. It was a story about a Brazilian law that actually caters to the older population. They describe the behavior of a man aged 72, who was tired of waiting in line at an ATM machine, and decided to walk to the front of the line. Can you imagine the reaction he would have received in NYC or other US cities? He explained that this kind of behavior is his prerogative according to the laws in Brazil and he does this often everywhere he goes; libraries, super markets, banks, and pharmacies. He claims that if ” I hear a complaint I say I have priority.”
A $750 Fine!!!!!
The Brazilian law ensures that all private businesses and government facilities give people over the age of 60 special attention, and for those that are noncompliant are care fined $750 for each time they don’t honor the older people! Compliance takes form in lines or queues that are dedicated to those over 60 years of age and those who are pregnant. One city has already amassed $19,500 in fines since 20141
What a Perk!
This special way of treating the older citizen is seen throughout Latin America. Reportedly, long lines are a way of life in this part of the world and in Sao Paulo seniors get the advantage of procuring their tickets for Carnival Parades ahead of others.
, Potential Downside???
There is always a flip side opinion of anything that excludes or differentiates perks for certain age groups. Some of the older people tend to take advantage of the law and cut in line to mail packages or organize their voter registration. Overall, people have no problem with letting a sickly or inform person get to the front of the line, but many people look and act as if they aren’t really so old! One man colorfully commented, ” I favor priority treatment for those that are sickly, but when I see a man with dyed hair and a pocketful of Viagra — its a little too much!”
“A Law Of Common Sense” Or Lets Agree to Respect Our Elders
This is the belief of Mayor Roberto Bezerra of Fortaleza. Faster banking for oldsters became the federal law in 2003. Sometimes the lines for seniors were longer than the normal lines, but it was agreed that priority lines was a method for allowing speedy service without the expense of added infrastructure for businesses. Sometimes the system has backups that cause complaints, but overall most citizens seem to think that it is a good law and one that will come in handy for them someday. Some Millennials who are projecting how they want to be treated in the future say, ” When you’re older you will want to have this.”
What do you think about this law?
Learning About What’s New On The Horizon
It’s nothing new that people are adverse about thinking about growing older. I recall pitching a book concept years ago in NYC during a Writer’s Conference about thinking positively about aging. The idea was met with resistance by a few agents that didn’t want to hear ANYTHING about growing older!
Lately, its a hot topic and the article I referenced in last weeks blog speaks to the idea that it has been proven that people can change the way they think about aging. This change of thinking can result in health benefits, and overall feelings of wellness.
Getting Rid of The Trash!
First, you have to learn what thoughts you have previously associated with getting older that are negative. Its not easy since we are bombarded daily with messages on TV, magazines and other forms of advertising that display people having erectile dysfunction, memory problems or are slipping and sliding down the age pole! Professor Levy, an associate professor of epidemiology and psychology at the Yale School of Public Health, has led studies on aging and reports some recent findings. She and her team looked at 84 groups on Facebook that used terms typically associated with growing older. Amazingly, all but 1 group, used negative comments the majority of the time. For example, she explains that 27% of the groups made older people childish, and 37% were strongly in favor of “banning older adults” from using public spaces or enjoying public activities like shopping!
So, what do we do to get our brains to think differently? It’s kind of like losing weight and keeping it off. You learn to substitute healthier foods for unhealthy ones and try doing new activities that boost your metabolism. The aging positively process takes an equally hard amount of work in surmounting all the negativity. Researchers have discovered that by substituting positive facts about growing older you allow yourself to rid yourself of prior negative images and stereotypes. Our brains are so powerful and there are studies and methods of gathering your power and turning the direction of your thoughts.
The article also refers to the importance of having balance in your thoughts and this can happen byhaving a clearer understanding of what happens as we grow older physically, and psychologically. Apparently, there is evidence that people over the age of 40 claim they think and feel 20 years younger!! The experts think this is a good feeling BUT it shouldn’t be a distraction from paying attention to changes that may come along as we grow older. Other research points out that another IMPORTANT method for tilting our thoughts upwards as we age is EXERCISE. An study with 247 women aged 70-93 showed that those who exercised for six months felt, looked and functioned much better than those who took a computer program or remained with their normal routine!
Any comments are always welcome as well as topics you’d like to see posted!
Wall Street Journal – ENCORE
We often hear of people starting an encore career or doing something new after years in a particular career or industry. The Wall Street Journal will occasionally print(yes, I still read the print version!) an section they refer to as their Encore Section.
4 Different Aspects of Lifestyle
- Many people feel that they will not feel as good as they age and I often hear older people calling their older years the “rusty years”. The WSJ Encore writer, Anne Tergesen, claims that this is an outdated idea that has permeated society, but in actuality is not true. She cites four different areas in which those aged 65+ are doing better than those in the younger demographic profiles! The areas are:
The social area refers to the support network we engage with as we grow older. 53% of people in the older age range report feeling they are loved and are surrounded by loving people. Those in the age ages from 18-64 report a percentage in the 30 range in this category.
Financial relates to the feeling of being secure and not stressed out about your finances. Again, 62% of those aged 65+ maintain they are confident about their financial resources.
Community is all about the feeling of being safe and living in an area for which you feel proud. 53% of older people report satisfaction in this area.
Physical means one is in good health and has the ability to get through the day with energy to sustain them. 40% of older people feel their physicality is a-o-k compared to those younger who range from 28% to 36% in their overall health.
The Key To Change
This article claims that the initial way to combat weariness that may set in as one grows older is to gain a better understanding of how “negative stereotypes” can pervade our thinking and how we can think differently. Scientists claim they cannot pinpoint exactly how thinking negatively about aging can affect ones health — but it does has an impact.
Please read my blog next week for more information on this subject. Focus on changing one negative stereotype this week and see what happens.