As we approach the festive season and the ending of another year, I should like to convey my best wishes to all Sixtyplusurfers and finish my blog posting for 2016 on a positive note. I have been up early this morning reading lots of comments on another social media website aimed at those of an elderly nature, and it depresses me when there is so many pensioners complaining about their lot.
I acknowledge that getting older brings its problems, for some more than others, but all things considered, its the younger members of our society where my sympathy lies.
I left school at 14 years with just a certificate for swimming 25 yards breast stroke. My father died when I was 9 years of age, so money in our household was somewhat limited. However, I managed to find a job with a local mill who offered me an apprenticeship and sponsored my further education until I reached the age of 22 years. In those days there was a job for anyone appropriate to their physical and academic capabilities. Not so nowadays, sure their are amazing opportunities from the bright ones who have had the good fortune of being born of caring parents, but there are now many young individuals leaving full-time education with very little prospects of a decent means of income, and I worry how these members of society will manage and find a sense of purpose throughout their future lives.
Automation, computerisation, and now, artificial intelligence are taking away many jobs that were available when my generation were seeking employment. Somehow our politicians have to decide how we deal with this ever increasing problem. There are those having had 11 years full-time education who can hardly string a few sentences together and the job market for them is becoming increasingly difficult.
I began this post by committing to ending on a positive note and you'll be thinking that I've drifted back into negativity. It winds me up when I hear many of the older generation complaining about ageism, not all of them I know, but there are many who should be grateful that in many respects we oldies are not on a bad deal. Health obviously plays an importuning part in ones outlook on life, plus old age can bring loneliness to many living alone.
However, I meet many elderly folks on a daily basis and in the main they are an inspiration of how to appreciate and enjoy your final chapter of life.
I have spent the year working on a local history project and I have had the privilege of meeting some incredible elderly folk.
My wife Pat and I are going away from Christmas, this time heading north to Scandinavia hoping to get on a sleigh ride and maybe see Santa.
I wish you all a very merry time over the festive season, and all you could wish for in 2017.
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