Freedom. It’s underrated.
I’m not talking about the freedom to hang out with Russian spies in the Oval Office or to write fake news tweets. I’m talking real stuff.
These days, with security breaches, internet hacks, and White House leaks, most of us believe that our personal freedom is declining. A Gallup Poll found that the U.S. ranks #21 in the world in people’s perception of personal freedom.
Far from Number One.
We spend too much time thinking about things we can’t do – like going to a Mick Jagger concert that leaves you slightly deaf for hours or eating a mess of hot dogs that gives you heartburn
It’s time for a second Bill of Rights: after fifty matters!
The amendments are simple. Leave the constraints of youth and civilized middle age behind. Be as free as you want (without hurting anyone). Who cares what the neighbors think?
According to research from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Americans aged 55-64 are more likely than young people to start a business. These startups range from computer training to cannabis. Ask Jo-Anne Lema who founded afterfiftyliving.com and featured people like Ernestine Stollberg, a 95-year old woman “who has gone viral as an Instagram model for an Austrian fashion boutique.”
What’s stopping you? Your rights are clear.
You no longer have to take squirming (grand) kids to smelly public bathrooms. That’s the parent’s job.
You can eat more Boston Kremes and Old Fashioneds at Dunkin Donuts with your senior citizen discount.
You can claim “I forgot” when you don’t want to spend a scheduled afternoon with an annoying relative. No one will doubt you.
You have the right to leave embarrassment to the young – they’re better at it. Send that dried-out white omelet back to the kitchen. The waitress might grumble but what can she expect from a cranky baby boomer and a lousy chef?
Indulge in the sport of complaining. Last year the Better Business Bureau reported over 15 million consumer complaints. Who’s going to notice you?
Moan (loudly) about things like rude kids who push ahead of you on the supermarket line and people who take the last carton of pulp-free grapefruit juice. Ignore the guy who snarls when you park your car in two spaces. He can use the exercise.
Don’t let anyone know that when you complain about the noisy party next door it’s because the music interferes with figuring out the perp on Law & Order. Openly confess that Law & Order (any version) was never the same without Jerry Orbach.
The youngsters won’t even know who Jerry Orbach was.
You have the right to be happy. Wear those colorful titles with pride: senior citizen, baby boomer, golden-ager, over-the-hill, old fogey, creaky . . . youngsters are always inventing new ones.
From one fossil to another – live the lyrics to the TV show, Happy Days. The repetition is good for you.
Sunday, Monday, Happy Days,
Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days,
Thursday, Friday, Happy Days,
Saturday, what a day,
Groovin’ all week with you.
After fifty matters!