Now that I have been retired for two years, I realise that when I was working I was unconsciously biased against retired people. I believed that they should not have opinions about business, politics, or pretty much anything else. There are two reasons for this – retired people have outdated ideas and they no longer contribute to society. And therefore their views have no value and should be ignored.
Now that I am retired it will not surprise you that my beliefs have changed. I like to think my own opinions are relatively progressive, and while my tax contribution may be less than when I was working, I have time to think, perspective and experience. If I were to follow my own stereotype I would also now be believing that young people’s opinions have no value. For instance, how can a 16 year old have the vote (which they do in Scotland) when they have no understanding of life, and are distracted by adolescence?
In reality I am trying hard to balance all my ageist biases with tolerance. Telling everyone which pronouns I want seems odd to me, but I understand that it is fundamental to some. Continuing to rally behind Brexit despite the economic evidence, seems nonsensical to me, but I understand that for some, it is the basis of British sovereignty. Keeping a narrowboat on a 48 hour mooring for a week is against the rules and therefore makes me judgy. But it is January. Does it really matter?
I conclude that retired people like me are allowed opinions. And so are young people, middle aged people, people of different faiths, races; people that are very like me and people that are quite different.
Or is having an opinion so important, I should not be tolerant of the contrary view. What do you think?