Peaceful Protests. Pickets. Distributing pamphlets that tell the “truth”. In my community, one of the most fascinating observations I have made since I retired from full time work, has been the level of activism by our senior citizens. The world’s attention has been focused on youth who seem inspired by Greta Thunberg and who are demanding we immediately address climate change.
But once you pay close attention to various protests that are becoming increasingly more frequent in the community, you will see that youth are not the only dominant age demographic. Seniors who are concerned about numerous challenges and egregious decisions that get made by our politicians, seem to be our community leaders for many of these activities.
Often times these highly educated, deeply concerned, and motivated community members are referred to as “raging grannies” by our local media. This term is used even though protest and activist moments held in the public realm are comprised of both men and women.
The first time I ever heard that term, it sounded as if it was made tongue in cheek. Poking fun at a small group of women who were protesting outside of city hall. Just recently, I listened to a respected journalist who described the “raging grannies” as a coherent, organized group who demand to be listened to and should be.
The national and international media pays attention to efforts made by senior celebrities like Jane Fonda, David Suzuki, Nancy Pelosi, among many others but what about right in your own back yard. Who are the people right in our own communities that we should be paying more attention to?
I have an active and engaged mother who recently made a presentation to elected city officials about concerns with our transit system. She created and delivered an articulate and impassioned plea for city leaders to at least try to ride the bus through our city so they could learn about the gaps in service and unsafe practices first hand. Rather than simply complain about her concerns, she took action and contributed to the process of positive change.
The more I pay attention to the activism of our community based “raging grannies”, the more I see. There are so many issues of grave concern in front of each and every one of us. It seems paramount to listen to our elders and do our best to engage in what we are passionate about and become more involved. I think that it is time for all of us to lend our voices in some meaningful way to making better choices for our future.