I notice a thought coursing around us that says that people who are older are somehow less important, or just less good, than younger people. I recently heard a friend tell of a performance they did that was "for a bunch of old people but it was still great". The implication was that, for some reason, performing for older people is somehow not as worthwhile as performing for younger people.
Frankly, it seems like a thought that has established itself pretty firmly in the assumptions of popular culture. Maybe it's because popular culture is aimed at younger audiences.
In any case, it's wrong. Not just wrong in that it's rude, but it's also wrong in that it's incorrect.
It is very beautiful for me to remember and feel that everyone is timeless. When I am standing in front of an audience that ranges in age from 11 to 100, I am touched, again and again, by the fact of the equality of all the folks in the room. Each one is there as a creation of an eternal God. And when I think of why we are all there – to imbibe and interact with holy spiritual concepts – I see more and more that when someone is opening, moving, striving to learn and grow, they are entirely alive. They are ageless and wondrous.
An artist, a musician, a story-teller seeks to touch the hearts of an audience – seeks to reveal the color and wonder of life to the group of hearts standing before him. To that artist it is nothing but a burden to see age. Seeing age divides and materializes our vision of the world. Instead, it is amazing to throw off the veil and see that the music, the ideas, the color of life itself, is doing the work of reaching those hearts. The substance of each one is ageless, interested, agile.
The basic burden of age is the belief that one can no longer learn, change, grow, or be useful. But a heart that is open, striving, interested, and engaged, is ageless.
We all can only prove and demonstrate our alive-ness, our value, our worth, by living! By bringing out the ideas, the dreams, the inspirations that come to us as we keep our minds open, agile, fruitful.
Older folks don’t need to buy into this materialistic notion, and neither do younger people need to be fooled into thinking they are somehow better. Spiritually, (meaning, really) people are absolutely EQUAL. We are timeless ideas, each with an amazing character to be revealed further and further.