Have you ever wondered how come the person celebrating their 50th birthday looks exactly the way they did in their wedding picture? Or perhaps you have been astonished to learn that the woman lifting a kettle bell next to you turns out to be the grandmother of two toddlers? Maybe you have even let it slip on occasion that a person of 60 practically has one foot in the grave?

It is time to change our attitudes towards age and aging.

60- and 70-year-old Finns are active and open and they live full lives. They read, travel and have hobbies, and they are mass consumers of culture. They use social media and follow the news and topical events. And they certainly aren’t a grey mass. They are as diverse and multivoiced a group as any other group of Finns of a given age. That’s exactly why they fascinate us!

This generation has been able to enjoy the prosperity of Finland in full. They got to experience the ideals and oil crises of the 70s and learned how to consume during the yuppie years of the 80s. The first to be born in the 60s will turn 60 this year – including such national treasures as Ismo Alanko, Jari Kurri and Karita Mattila. One foot in the grave?

ET has a mission. We challenge everyone to take a long hard look at their attitudes and views on aging and the elderly. How do you approach them? Can you see the person’s story behind their age? Do you have the patience to listen to their stories? Do you see people aged 60+ as an active and diverse group of our society – as a matter of fact, the largest group? And one more thing: How would you like to be treated when you are the star of the third act on the stage of your life?

At ET, we want to talk about age. We will show that age, as such, does not really matter all that much. Attitude does. Experience does. Anyone who has reached the third stage of their life has already realised this. Often, they are free to be themselves, full of experience and worldly wisdom. That’s why they know how to be happy – and dare to do so. Everyone lives life in their own way. Some enjoy the treasured little things in life, others seek larger-than-life experiences.

ET wants to give a voice and face to the active 60 plusses made wise by life. Through our stories, we want to encourage our readers to use their freedom boldly, break out of the traditional roles and live just the way they want to.

Together, we can make the discussion about age more open-minded and encouraging. Let’s show it through our actions.

The author is Katriina Palo-Närhinen, Editor-in-Chief, ET magazine.