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Words Matter

Connie Michaelis, Marketing Consultant for The Piper Assisted Living and Memory Support

I was listening to a podcast by one of my favorite authors and speakers, Dr. Bill Thomas. His crusade is for successful, outrageous ageing! The tag line of his Disrupt Aging nationwide tour is, “What if everything you know about aging is wrong?” He defines three types of seniors: the denialist, the realist, and the enthusiast. The denialist has his head in the sand, plain and simple; completely ignores that aging is a fact. The realist is honest and recognizes some limitations but is fighting it all the way. These folks are good fodder for all the anti-aging products on the market. Their goal is to turn back the clock! The enthusiast embraces aging (yes, even the wrinkles) and celebrates the opportunity for more birthdays! So what do words have to do with aging?

An old ditty warns us, “Say a word and it shall be, choose your words carefully.” Proverbs 12:28 says, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Today’s scientific research calls it ‘priming.’ Your brain responds to words that you speak; what you say alters your grey matter. Fascinating studies are being done that verify that what you say becomes a reality. It is unsettling! We need to reclaim the language of aging. There are parts of the world where aging is admired and honored. There was a time in history where Elders and Chieftains were privileged. What has happened? Today, in our western culture, growing old is considered a disease process; at worst, a curse. A great deal of conversation, media representation, and current literature paints a sad picture. Let’s just decide to stop repeating it. Growing old is a blessing. Age brings so many benefits like wisdom, understanding, forgiveness and authenticity. Make a personal promise to reframe your words and speak about all the positive things in life. It may be the best medicine the doctor can order!