Took a while, but here is Part 2 from the Dawning of a New World View post last month. It is my personal take on the issue. Enjoy:
I was always at some level aware of the age hierarchy we live in. At various times I found it amusing, a minor nuisance not worth worrying about or something to rebel against, but I can’t ever remember actually supporting it.
My memory is shamefully bad, so I only retain snippets of my life before last Tuesday, but of those snippets, some are interesting. Like when I first started 1st grade, my grand entry into public school I made a private promise to myself that if I was ever punished for something I didn’t think I deserved I would fight it to the end. I don’t think I ever told anyone, but it was always in the back of my mind. I didn’t activate this pact until like sophomore year in high school after a conflict with my Spanish teacher (fun story, if you’re lucky I’ll tell it (retell it?) sometime). It wasn’t that I never got in trouble to that point, I just always figured I got what I had coming, hehe. But the point of course is that even in first grade (aka 6 years old) I recognized that the authorities and the school could be wrong and that it was my obligation to fight them when they were.
But other times I was rather amused with the whole way we were ranked and classified in society. In elementary school I’d sometimes call middle school or high school students “kids”, even though they were twice my age, because despite the fact they seemed to be damn near adults from my vantage point I knew that they were regarded as no better off than I was in the eyes of the world. So I’d be a smart ass and call them kids to piss them off and amuse myself by turning the typical hierarchy on its head by talking down to someone twice my age. And of course knowingly and unknowingly pointing out the absurdity of how our world worked.
So I always recognized these various elements and it always existed in the background of my life as I looked at my interactions with my parents or with teachers. It wasn’t until high school that thinking that this would be a worthwhile thing to analyze and fight back against. Till then I just had an uneasy co-existence with ageism.