I want to create a new organization to stamp out stupidity and indifference and restore common decency and good will into society. I think I’ll call it the National Organization of Pissed-Off Elders (N.O.P.E.).

What’s pissing us off?

A lot more than just ‘aging’ issues like Social Security, pharmaceuticals and our sex lives.

First, it pisses us off that the people in charge are squandering away the
opportunities they had to make the world work, or at least be a better

read more

Is Ageism the Problem?

I was talking to a friend recently who was suggesting I commit this blog to defeating ‘ageism’ in all of its often subtle and insidious forms. I said, I don’t want to make this about being ‘against’ ageism for three reasons. First, if there is one thing I have learned in life it is that we get what we resist. Even Martin Luther King wasn’t so much against discrimination as he was ‘for’ equality. Secondly, I want to be ‘for’ the possibility of aging and that is as much about

read more

Resisting Travel

I’m getting ready to take a long trip—five or six weeks, five time zones and two continents. I do this 3 or 4 times a year, something like a musician or standup comic going on tour except I will be giving lectures and talking to people about changing their organizational cultures and transforming the way they observe the world. I have traveled like this pretty much for my entire career and even used to enjoy it when airlines cared about customers and airport security was personal and inspectors

read more

Riverboats and Bone Yards IV

By Stu Whitley

This is fourth in a five-part series.

The end of anything must be at least as interesting as the beginning of it, even if we think it’s not a particularly happy ending. As a novelist, the end of a story I’m writing doesn’t always present itself to me initially, and even if I think I’m working toward a particular conclusion, the climax consistently turns out to be quite different than that which I have conceived somewhere along the way. Oddly, I’m as interested in the outcome as I hope a reader might be.

The point is not that every story ends: it is that every story has a surprise ending that has everything to do with the way a life has been lived.

I contemplate the decline of those once-grand and now-ancient
paddlewheel steamers on the Yukon River, it occurs to me that, in not
many more years, they will be gone almost completely, leaving only a
few rusted pieces of machinery to mark their passing. I wish there was

read more


I was having dinner the other night with my partner, a lawyer with the Canadian Government. The conversation got around to the subject of ‘equality’, particularly in relationships. The conventional wisdom, we concluded, is that for two people to be equal, they need to respect and regard each other as having equally valid points of view (as in “my way of looking at a particular situation is just as valid as yours…”). However, most people, we felt, don’t normally relate to each other

read more

How Old Would You Be…?

By Lauren Selman

When do you start to get older? After reading the comments about aging,
I ask, “When does aging begin?” Aging is placed in the context of those
entering their thirties and beyond, but for me, I believe the process
of aging began the day I was born.

When I was a little girl, I
was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and I simply responded, "I
don’t want to grow up." But the truth was I was growing up as I was
saying those words.

read more

The Beauty of Uncertainty

By Don Arnoudse

My 20 year-old daughter, Sara, was in full voice, speaking rapidly with both tension and inspiration. “Dad, there are so many things I want to do. I’m going to Spain in the fall, but I wish I were staying on campus [at the University of New Hampshire] so I can meet the presidential candidates before the primary. I don’t know at all where I’m going to live next spring. This summer, I’m interested in an internship in Washington, DC, but people tell me it’s a great time to be on campus. There’s another overnight leadership workshop next weekend, but I’m just not sure if I want to go again. I might want to take an extra semester before I graduate because there are so many courses I want to take and I’m running out of time. I feel like I should get a job and make some money, but I’m not sure how I would fit it all in. Everything is just so up in the air!”

After our discussion was over, I
found myself thinking about the energy of the conversation. Sara was
bemoaning her uncertainty in the face of so many choices. She was
feeling the fear of, perhaps, making some wrong ones. She was hungry
for life, with an appetite for tasting many things, but knew that not
all of them were possible. She was exhilarated at the prospect of
working in Washington, DC with a non-governmental agency that’s focused

read more

Wake Up Call

I got a gentle reminder last week of how precious and potentially fragile life is. I had a very minor medical procedure done that required outpatient surgery and sedation. When I woke up, everyone was smiling and assuring me all was well. Within the space of a few minutes, they were expressing concern because I was having some heart irregularities. It was all handled very professionally and, at the end of the day, I was lucky: it turned out to be one of those inexplicable anomalies that happen

read more

Riverboats and Bone Yards III

By Stu Whitley

This is third in a five-part series.

It is inevitable that the pressures of the past that are felt by the present have to be contained in some sort of manageable context. Life must be worth living.

Gazing upward to the crumbling decks of
those forlorn leviathans from my canoe on the Yukon River, I wondered
about the men who worked those paddlewheel steamers. Back-breaking work
it must have been to feed those enormous furnaces. Even the ship’s
wheel needed to be six feet across to achieve the mechanical advantage
necessary to turn the fat twin rudders under the paddlewheel. It must
have required Herculean

read more

Age and Experience

A wealthy old lady decides to go on a photo safari in Africa, taking her faithful aged poodle named Cuddles along for the company.

One day the poodle starts chasing butterflies and before long, Cuddles discovers that he’s lost.. Wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.  
The old poodle thinks, "Oh, oh! I’m in deep  doo-doo now!" Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately

read more