There have been a few small events in my neck of the woods lately involving life and business coaches. And various other gurus. Some have tempted me. Others haven’t. One thing I’ve noticed however is the growing array of people offering wellbeing courses of some sort.
I don’t necessarily believe one needs formal qualifications to speak with authority on a particular subject. We’ve all known people with the right piece of paper but the wrong personality or approach.
However… I must admit I usually take the time to look at someone’s qualifications, background AND experience before committing to something or listening to what they’re peddling.
Many years ago I followed a lot of health bloggers and body confidence / positive-living advocates. I was a fan of several in particular – including a few I continue to read today.
However… I was recently reminded of one in particular. I loved her positive outlook – her ‘devil may care’ approach to dieting and life in general. “Do what you love, to hell with everyone and everything else!” she’d say. And similar.
A couple of years went by and I read something by that particular coach / blogger. And discovered she was celebrating her 25th birthday.
What. The. Actual. Fuck?! It meant that I was taking advice from a 23yr old when I first came across her. Someone (at that point) 20yrs my junior.
I thought of my own bravado at 25. Or 23. I thought of everything I assumed I had before me and my expectations of life.
I was reminded of a 30yr old me being envious of Britney Spears’ abs, until it occurred to me she was about 16 at the time!
This person essentially finished college and went straight into business telling us why we should love our lives and be happy with whatever comes our way.
I’m not saying those in their 30s, 40s or 80s have nothing to learn from 25yr olds. But I felt cheated.
I was reminded of this recently during an online discussion about unqualified peeps talking about shit they don’t know. We all know of examples… chefs or bloggers providing medical or parenting advice and the like.
I know some fields and courses are heavily regulated. Others aren’t. I’m doing Italian language lessons with someone who’s not a qualified language teacher. But I knew that before I started. It’s an 8wk conversational course and I just wanted to learn how to pronounce a few words.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to trust my physical and mental health or emotional wellbeing to someone who was unqualified… or perhaps who was lacking experience.
And so I wonder if the latter is some indication I’m becoming ageist. I’ve listened to my elders complain about how young doctors or teachers look and chuckled.
And yet I wonder if I’m doing the same thing… Sometimes. I mean, I’m happy to trust my website to a 25yr old, but do I really want a bright young thing telling me how to live my life?
I know age alone doesn’t mean someone brings more or less experience with them. I know a widowed 25yr old with two kids would know so much more about loss and love than I possibly could as a single 48yr old. But still… I think back over the four PLUS decades of my life and find it hard to believe that doesn’t count for something?!
Am I being ageist? Or do you think it’s okay to sometimes draw on a range of factors to make such decisions?
I’ve joined Leanne and some other bloggers to help promote “ageing positively” and the Lovin’ Life mindset across the interwebs (unless you’re me and a miserable old ‘git’)! You can link up via any one of us!