Photo: Madeleine Alldis
Known for his book “in Praise of slowness”, the canadian journalist Carl Honoré is interested in the topic of aging in a book which will be published in the fall in French.
Newly past in the club, in their fifties, the canadian author Carl Honoré is not those who say to all the winds that ” 50 is the new 40. “A posture that may seem paradoxical on the part of one who has just launched a book that makes the apology of the experience of age, in a world obsessed with youth.
“In our time, we have so many ways to better live that it is ridiculous to have to lie about his age. Of course, age may count in the balance. But not as a trait that solidifies our identity. Otherwise, this can exert a terrible power over us “, expresses the author of Bolder, a book that carries an optimistic view of our world in longevity.
Time passes, no one escapes it. But three years of research all over the world enriched by several meetings with sexas, septuas and octos non-bedridden, led to Carl Honoré to the conclusion that there is a need to review our perception of aging and retirement.
According to him, the major stages of the life — forging her education up to 21 years, found a family, to work and earn the money for 40 years and retire in their sixties — have become totally obsolete for a company that will live generally longer and in better health.
Fight the clichés
“I think he’s going to have to move to a design more fluid of the age, by incorporating the idea that it is possible to learn new things to 0 as at the age of 90. Because studies on the brain show that the old adage “you can’t teach new tricks to an old dog” is totally false. It is the same for dogs ! “says the one who, in Bolder, also seeks to dismantle some of the stereotypes about age that have the hard life.
Carl Honoré is particularly interested in the contribution of elders in the world of work in this era where productivity, innovation and creativity are often associated with youth.
“The media have a great deal amplified the caricature of the employee in Silicon Valley who eats the pizza while drinking an energy drink sitting in his office, with a skateboard next to him. But this cliché associated with the entrepreneurial success does not hold the road. It is found that, in fact, to be successful in the world of start-ups, being young does not confer any particular advantage. On the contrary : they are usually people of 40-50 years of age who are more successful in this sector. “
“I think ageism is the last’ ism ‘ that needs to be addressed. In my opinion it is the most difficult to identify, because it is very difficult to define, but perhaps also the easiest, because it ends by personally affect the majority of us ! “, reflects on the phone to this author established in the United Kingdom.
According to his research, and encounters with people of 60, 70, 80 years active in the world of work, volunteer, start businesses, engage in competitive sports, have an active sex life, satisfying, Carl Honore noticed that, although ageism is still a part of the décor, our world tends to lead to an annihilation of the concept of generations.
“The barriers between the generations tend to flatten. Between my father and me, there’s 30 years difference, but it seems like centuries : we wear clothes very different, don’t like the same tv shows… “
“On the other hand, my son and I (who have 30 years difference) love the same bands, going to see the same concerts, we both love Breaking Bad. The people are more defined by what they are, like the food they cook, the books they love, the art that they appreciate… that by their age, “points out Carl Honore, who also notes that the giants Amazon and Netflix, have ceased to do age categories, but rather to classify their content according to the” tastes. “
A sign that things are changing slowly : the magazine Maxim (which is dedicated to the industry of marketing and advertising) has been substituted to its list of “10 people under 30 years to watch “a special” 7 persons over 70 years of age to watch “.
The lessons of the slow
In the trajectory of the author Carl Honoré, Bolder arrives 15 years after Praising the slowness, the flagship works of the movement ” slow “, and the first in a trilogy on the subject, in which Honored declines the slow on the topic of productivity at work, parenting, health and general appreciation of life.
The theme of aging in keeping with its reflection on the slow pace. “It is true that as we age, we slow down, and it’s for the better : it improves our social skills, our ability to listen, our capacity to “read” people, it is better in our skin. As I tried to undo the cult of speed, Bolder attempts to dismantle the cult of youth at any price. “
To be successful in the world of start-ups, being young does not confer any particular advantage. On the contrary: they are usually people of 40-50 years of age who are more successful in this sector.
— Carl Honoré
In Bolder, Carl Honoré meets a gameuse of 81-year-old, a knitter of 71 years designing pieces of luxury for a company of Manhattan, a bicycle race of 60 years who spends most of his time riding in lycra… Among the secrets of longevity and vitality that note Carl Honoré : maintain good social relationships, not smoking, staying in shape, eating well…
“The whole social aspect and community, it really is something that we must relearn in the western countries. On the other hand, all the negative stereotypes that people associate age with depression are reviewing. Among all age groups, people over 60 are those that report the highest degrees of satisfaction with their lives. “
Of its kind to consider the glass half full, Carl Honoré says that yes, the fact that 17 % of people over the age of 80 are suffering from dementia, it is already too much. This also means that 83 % of them live a long time with little or no cognitive impairment.
“Before writing this book, I paniquais every time I forgot my keys, because the surrounding culture is constantly raised the threat of alzheimer’s disease. But then, I calmed down by reminding myself that I égarais also my keys for 20 years ! “
The French version of Bolder. Making the Most of our Longer Lives will be published in September 2019 Editions Marabout.
A population older than the average canadian
The age structure of the population of Québec in 2017 shows that it is older than that of Canada as a whole. Proportionately, Québec has more persons 65 years and over (18.5 per cent compared to 16.9%) and less young people under the age of 20 years (20.6% down from 21.6%). The share of 20-64 year-olds is also lower (60,9% against 61,5%.)