Your Views for February 8

Rise up, seniors!

As a 74-year-old Hilo resident and one who, unabashedly, questions many status quo, societal institutions, I feel as though older people are separated, isolated, forgotten and self-judgmental.

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You’ve heard it before: Older people are invisible. Adoration, awe and energy are broadcast to youth — bodies cloaked in compression tops and bun-hugging pants.

What is your opinion of bas-relief, wrinkled faces, sagging jowls and thin or fat bodies? So bombastic is this “ideal,” so media maniacal is this “beauty” image, seniors have globally, cognitively and emotionally internalized this aesthetic.

I question why senior centers are only for seniors. Why can’t teenagers go to my yoga class? One reason: Many seniors have adopted a negative view of themselves. We compare ourselves to the youthful standard so prevalent in movies, on TV, in magazines, in the retail world. We self-judge: It’s not enriching nor comforting for our self-esteem.

We isolate seniors in care homes. We isolate inmates in jails. We isolate and separate children in all ages in schools. Open up those care homes to kindergartners so residents and 5-year-olds can talk to each other and maybe play a simple game together.

Open up jails so inmates and the public can talk story and develop community, understanding and compassion. Open up schools for cross-age tutoring/mentoring.

Seniors: Rise up! Do not default to the comforts or discomforts of “home alone.” Say, “Hell no, I am not eating food that is, over time, building inflammation and lethargy.”

Gradually, our society will morph into one of inclusiveness, warmheartedness, self-respect, health and honesty.

Gary Harrold

Hilo

Praise for safety plan

Kudos to Mayor Harry Kim for the new proclamation and the “Vision Zero” road traffic safety project published on Feb. 2 in the Tribune-Herald.

In order for this to work, we need to see a paradigm shift in the way we drive. Two roadways on the Big Island that make the hair stand up on the back of my neck is the Keaau to Pahoa Highway and Saddle Road.

If you drive the posted speed limit in both these areas, vehicles will always tailgate and push you to drive faster or overtake you and speed away.

Last week on Saddle Road I set my cruise control to the posted 60 mph speed limit and counted numerous cars and trucks pass me in a hurry to go nowhere.

I was doing 60 mph; they must have been doing 70-plus mph.

Like Mayor Kim said in the article: “There is no acceptable number of traffic deaths.”

One traffic death is way too many.

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Kamaoa Parker

Hilo

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