||[Jul. 9th, 2011|09:13 am]
We took my mother-in-law to Sainsburys yesterday, where we met her next door neighbour and had to give her a lift home. This next-door neighbour is an aggrieved person whose father used to be a communist shop steward- and she started talking about how Asians should have their own bathhouses and not pollute "ours" and I called her a racist and we both became spluttering and incoherent. I wish I could be Buddhalike about these provocations, but it appears I can't. Afterwards I said to Ailz that I seem to have a thing about getting into arguments with shrill and opinionated old ladies and she pointed out that this particular old lady is approximately the same age as me- and might even be younger. Oh.|
Golden rule is that when someone has reached middle age they are not receptive to new ideas.
That's quite a sweeping statement in itself, and not one I've found to be true.
It is a quote from my Dad who is rarely wrong. If you have been a racist for 45 years what searing insight will you have that the person has not already heard?
I suspect that minds (young or old) are more likely to be changed by experience than by arguments - for example by getting to know people from a group that one has only previously heard about at second hand.
I do accept that many middle-aged and older people have a strong emotional and material investment in the way of life that they've built up - and that people in general aren't usually keen to have their worldview turned upside down. But plenty of older people change their minds about important things. I've known people lose their faith in God (or find it), do 180 degree political turnabouts, work productively with sworn enemies, etc etc. It may not be common, but then it's not common at any age.
I do find it ironic that an argument against one sort of prejudice should be expressed in terms of prejudice of another sort.
I see your point. I do not agree with it however...
Usually, personal contact with a person in the despised category. I've seen a number of cases where middle-aged or elderly people HAVE changed their views to be more inclusive and accepting.
I've seen many more cases of elderly people who actually were nowhere near as bigoted as people assumed they would be -- I know of more than one person of my generation who came out to their grandparents, only to have them respond with something like, "I served with a couple gay people in WWII; they were fine soldiers, and I always thought it was unfair that they couldn't get married. . . "
Not one I've found to be true either.
In fact, I find this Golden Rule's absolutist nature laughable.