We All Own It…
Hi — “Reimagine Everything” is a column that will appear in every issue of the Pacific Citizen. I hope you enjoy it!
Why an ongoing column directed to reimaging everything from someone 54, and who works for AARP? My best response is why not, as I own my age and all that goes along with false assumptions about aging and standing between finding my real possibilities. Almost 20 years have passed since AARP sent its old name — the American Association of Retired Persons — out to pasture because so many of our members are still part of the workforce or starting new chapters in their working lives.
People are living longer, reimaging their life and having a second or third career. Multigenerational households are becoming more common, and modern medicine and technology if adopted can improve our collective quality of life no matter your age. Yes, the perception of what it means to be 50 and older in this country has changed. It’s a time when we can proudly own our own age and offer the life lessons we’ve learned to the next generations, hopefully using new technologies to stay connected and help simplify our lives.
I’ll be the first one to say that I’m a “tweener,” meaning that I’m open to new technology and ideas but not as comfortable as younger people to embrace technology. Some have called me “old school” or “grandpa,” but it’s a “me thing,” and I’m slow to adopt. A great example is social media, a great way to shop and stay connected. I do some shopping, banking and communication with my daughter in college, but I still haven’t adopted social media like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.
In fact, I’m afraid of sharing information or pictures under my own name on Facebook. My colleagues all laugh, but it still makes me a bit unsettled to get random “friend requests” via Facebook. I do try out new social media sites that my daughters use, but just when I’m feeling good about the service a new one becomes all the craze. I just can’t keep up, so I just use email for my main communications.
However, an AARP article last year talked about not using Gmail, AOL or Yahoo email accounts, which are older, first-generation platforms, and to get a vanity URL, so my emails might eventually come from email@example.com. I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet, even though I realize it’s probably inevitable.
In future columns, I will share useful information on a wide range of topics important to not only people 50-plus, but information for anyone of any age. I only ask that you share my factoids, tips or tools within your network if you find them helpful.
AARP is a very unique nonprofit. We are a social mission-driven organization with more than 38 million members — and of course, valuable discounts for members, which seem to be what most people focus on when they hear “AARP.”
But AARP is also a treasure trove of information, tools and resources for anyone who’s 50-plus. Remember, every Baby Boomer is now over 50, and the first wave of Gen-Xers are, too. So, you can reimagine the common stereotype that comes to mind when you hear “AARP.”
We fight for legislation that will help Americans 50-plus. We are bringing issues such as caregiving to the spotlight at the local, state and national levels. We support organizations across the country that work with 50-plus populations, including Asian American and Pacific Islanders. Speaking of which, I’m a member of the Washington, D.C., chapter of JACL, so I’m a supporter of JACL’s mission and already work with AAPI communities.
I look forward to writing for you in the P.C. — here’s to reimagining everything!
Ron Mori is a board member for the Washington, D.C., JACL chapter, and manager of community, states and national affairs — multicultural leadership for AARP.