There was a time when certain things were absolute. No haggling, no bargaining, no grey areas. Black and white. While of course other things were more fluid, shifting, not absolute.
For example let’s consider the notion of senior citizens. At one time the age at which you could claim this lofty title was 65. Period. My grandfather worked for the Canadian government at the time he turned 65, and that was it. Thanks for your service, here’s your watch and pension. From one day to the next you became a senior citizen. When you were a mere 64, a favourite of The Beatles, you were still a working man, but one day later you were put out to pasture.
But now the concept of being a senior citizen kicks in at age 55, with a number of fiscal advantages and discounts; becomes serious at age 60 and one becomes a full fledged senior at 65. No longer is it black and white, we now experience an array of senior citizenship.
Similarly gender used to be an up or down kind of thing. If you were born with a whatzit, you were a whozit. Simple as that. Had you mentioned to someone as recently as twenty years ago that some forms today, when referring to gender, provide more than merely male or female options, they would have thought you were mad. We now live in a society that has begun to adhere to the idea of a spectrum of gender. Folks born with a whatzit may choose to identify as some point on the scale of gender.
Paradoxically one realm where you could usually find a bit of give and take has become as black and white as gender used to be. I refer to the world of politics. The notion of working across the aisle, whether literally doing so in the Senate or House, or figuratively in day to day life, has been pushed aside in favour of total partisanship.
Democrats and Republicans, Conservatives and Liberals no longer seem to fit in somewhere on the political gamut. It has become an all or nothing approach, far left or far right, that will surely lead to problems.
As for me, I’ve decided to use the “no longer etched in stone” angle and, having just turned sixty, I am hereby choosing to identify as 40!