What is wrong with being old? I am 73 and I look it. I have earned every one of my gray hairs, I am a grandmother and if any young person wants to give me a senior discount, I am happy to take it.

If we old folks don’t let young people know that it is OK to be old, that we are proud to be old — what does that teach them about aging? I retired more than 10 years ago. I coordinated school health programs, supervised school nurses and taught high school health. I included a unit on life cycles in my classes. When students asked my age, I told them. How else would they learn about aging? When one of my 15-year-old students told me that I was “well-preserved” for my age, I thanked him and laughed.

Being old is not synonymous with being incompetent. Age, like many other things in life, is what you make it. So, to all you young people offering us old folks our senior discounts, I say, thank you.

Susan W. Spalt, Seattle