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Jeanelle Norman 2018

Grow old gracefully, at least that was the saying years ago.

How can one grow old gracefully when the eyesight grows dim with cataracts, the knees become overwhelmed with arthritis, the hearing grows faint, and walking becomes a real chore?

No matter how well the aging senior takes care of the body, deterioration will surely come. Most seniors will tolerate the body parts falling apart, but, for heaven’s sake, they want to hold on to a “healthy mind.”

There are signs that give forewarning that something is happening to the mind. Full speed ahead with forgetfulness; driving along only to forget the destination; hiding objects only to forget where they are hidden; talking and then forgetting in midstream the content of the conversation, and many more.

The biggest threat hanging over the heads of many seniors is learning how to speak with filters. The old saying, “Stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is just corroded bologna! Speaking without filters can hurt the feelings of others.

Beware seniors in your 70s, someone in your age group is leading the nation speaking without filters at numerous times. Thus, your generation may become known as the “no filter generation.”

An internet search on filters yielded the following information in the article "How to deal with the person without filters:"

“When someone lacks a filter, it means that they don’t give consideration to the audience, and often end up saying things that are rude, condescending, or downright mean. Telling someone they are an idiot during a meeting, making a crass comment about another person’s misfortune ...”

Does this behavior sound familiar to words proclaimed about Maxine Waters, Marco Rubio or LeBron James? However, it must be noted that some people who demean others can dish it out but cannot accept the truth about self. Thus, the phrase “fake news” emerges, which is a dogmatic schism designed to shield the truth from the public. Americans are fortunate to live in a democracy that is guarded by the rule of the law.

Most importantly, it is great to live in a land with a U.S. Constitution, which has a First Amendment protecting five freedoms. What would America be like without the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to assemble peaceably, freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and freedom of the press? Americans must not allow any of these freedoms to be obliterated. Americans must not sit by in weakness and tolerate anyone calling the press an "enemy of the people." Calling the press such a name conjures up ill feeling against one of our freedoms.

The public has a right to know what the leaders/lawmakers are doing in Washington, D.C. As Americans, we should not be subjected to anyone shaking the foundation of the liberty on which we stand.

The press is NOT the enemy of the people. Where is the proof of such a notion? The time has come for all Americans to give a voice of protection for the freedom of the press. An unfiltered voice should not be subscribed to as speaking for Americans about a freedom that is dear to our hearts.

Even in the wake of danger to journalists, the press keeps on giving oxygen to the person making the criticism. That’s democracy at work in America.

Seniors in your 70s and beyond, we must stand up and tell our fellow senior in the White House, “Enough. No more talk about 'enemy of the people.' ”

Jeanelle Norman is the branch president of the Decatur NAACP.

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