Thursday Mar 12 2009
must forgive the title of this post, especially if you view aging the
way that I view aging: as a natural progression of life that embodies
endless possibilities. This view is the core reason why I joined the
Eldering Institute, an organization that promotes a life of power,
purpose and possibility for Elders. I choose to live in a world in
which individuals, regardless of age, are committed to continually
creating new possibilities for their lives. I am speaking of
possibilities that allow individuals to share the very best of who they
are. In the world I envision, imagine the impact that Elders,
collaborating with other generations, will have on the communities in
which they live, learn, work and play!
Yes... but why the headline, you ask? Recently, I was reviewing a number of Calgary-based publications directed at seniors and I couldn't help but notice that the publications were exclusively devoted to helping seniors exist in their current situation. There were few, if any, articles devoted to sharing wisdom or to intergenerational collaboration, to web links that connected seniors with empowering organizations, or contributions that sought to promote a purpose-filled view of aging. Instead, there were advocacy articles for health care, lists of drop-in programs, home care services, and numerous advertisements for real estate, care centers, and senior’s aids to daily living. While there is a real need for this information and for the associated services, I was disappointed to realize that the majority of content was primarily directed at 'coping' or, as I see it, ‘the care and feeding of seniors’.
I see an opportunity for publishers to begin to incorporate articles, services and education that introduces seniors and their families to a ‘possibility-centered’ view of aging, rather than a view of aging in which individuals continually withdraw from society and the focus shifts to coping strategies. I have a vision in which all the components of society (governments, employers, educational institutions, social agencies, professional bodies, and service groups) collectively encourage seniors, their families and the communities in which they live to collaborate to create opportunities in which seniors can share their experience, their wisdom and their grace with younger generations.
The Eldering Institute is now building critical mass to communicate and deliver products, services and information that seeks to re-define Eldering and to advance a ‘possibility-centered’ view of aging. If you would like to shift our cultural story about growing older from one of decline, boredom, resignation and loneliness to one of power, purpose and possibility, then read and sign the Eldering Manifesto online. There is no time like the present to help those you love return to a purpose-filled life!