Hats off to Susan Llewellyn. In a New York Times Letter to the Editor today, she called New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on his response (above) to reporters pressing him about a recent spate of offensive remarks. “It reads a lot like, ‘I am 67 years old and too old to change.’” Llewellyn commented. “As someone who has two years on His Honor, I still hope never to use my age as an excuse for my attitudes!”
One of the stereotypes about growing older is that we become set in our ways — too old to change. One of the truths, it seems, is that both our strengths and weaknesses become more pronounced. Close-minded, authoritarian types aren’t likely to turn tolerant or touchy-feely. But to attribute bias or insularity to chronological age is bogus. And the ability to adapt to change, gracefully and bravely, is an important component of aging well.