Category Archives: Wisdom in Action

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

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Taxis in Turkey

By Elizabeth Russell
Bio

Thinking about the place of elders in other cultures, I’m reminded of my days in Turkey. Although I wasn’t, by American standards, an elder (I was in late middle age at that time), I was considered so by the people in that culture.

My
first experience was in Izmir, Turkey, where I was teaching English at
Ege University. Some of the time, I took a dolmus (share taxi) to and
from the university. I had no problem getting a space in the taxi going
to the university because we lived at the beginning of the route, but
coming home was a different matter.

The first few times I was
waiting at the taxi stand, I noticed that the taxis coming by were full
and so I backed away from the stop. Then one

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Don to Earth

I don’t know if Don to Earth reads this, but if so I want to send him a belated 93rd happy birthday message. While I have never met Don and know him exclusively through his blog, I appreciate his mind, his wit and the clarity with which he communicates whatever is on his mind. I think he is an example of someone who is conscious and responsible for his age, but not limited by it. His

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My Father in His House of Logs

I was in a conversation the other day with some friends. It wasn’t long before we were bemoaning the ‘state of the world’. We moved from politics in Washington DC to global warming and the Middle East, then took on the environment, the media and the latest brouhaha about China shooting down a satellite. In a few minutes, we were feeling a bit of despair at the seemingly endless list of intractable problems, most of which are threatening our quality of life—if not the future of our

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Intergenerational Dialogue

If we had the means to promote an intergenerational dialogue, what would we talk about?

I think we’d first have to acknowledge that:

•    Neither generation has a lock on truth AND
•    Neither of us knows more than the other.

While we may have a bit more experience in some areas, younger people know a lot more in others. I learned from my son that he knows a lot more than I do about modern philosophy, about dealing with uncertainty and about participating in

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Generations

 
We speak of ‘generations’ as if they are homogenous groupings of like-minded people who see the world in more or less the same way. I don’t know about this. I think there are as many intra-generational differences as there are inter-generational differences. I think that what may be distinct is how the young and the old differ in respect to time. The young have a lot more of it to look forward to than we do. The patterns of youthful enthusiasm, idealism and energy seem

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Being a Grandparent

By Vincent DiBianca
Bio

When I was a little kid, my picture of "grandpop" was of a little old guy with spectacles, stooped posture, a little paunch, a distinctive limp and false teeth. My grandfather often brought a smile and a wink with him, but he wasn’t particularly able to relate to me. I recall we sometimes played checkers or cards; however, I don’t remember doing anything special with him. We never went off exploring together (except for an occasional movie). He seemed more interested in assigning me chores (and imposing discipline) than teaching me values and how to think. Grandpa was a part of my life, but he was actually more of a babysitter than anything else.

Too
proud to be vulnerable, he wasn’t really "accessible". He never really
knew me or dialogued with me to any extent. He didn’t serve as a
confidant, guide or mentor. We never had a heart-to-heart conversation,
and I never felt particularly safe or connected with him. Maybe this
was just our family. Maybe it was the times. Or perhaps it was both.

I
can tell you that being a granddad in 2007 for me is a very different
experience. Okay, so

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The Last Day

About 3 hours until the ball drops and we all sing Auld Lang Seins
and kiss someone close to us. This year had an early dinner, shared
resolutions and went through the ritual of ‘completing’ 2006. I notice
that staying up until midnight somehow isn’t what it used to be.
Nonetheless, this is a special day no matter how cavalier I may be
about it. Every culture seems to have a New Year. I suppose if you are
Jewish and Chinese, you could have three New Year

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Christmas 2006

Christmas is just about here, then the ramp up for New Year’s Eve
and the post-holiday recovery. I am looking at the Christmas cards
we’ve received and thinking about what to say that hasn’t been said a
hundred ways already at this time of year. “Peace on Earth, Goodwill
toward Men” seems to pretty much capture the point of Christ’s message,
but then it also captures the message of Mohammed, Buddha, a bunch of
Hindu Gurus, most Jews, Zoroaster, and

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Volunteering

One of the principal notions many newly retired folks consider is
volunteering. To be sure, most community agencies will attest there is
a large and growing need. Interestingly enough, these same agencies are
mostly run by paid full or part-time staff, and the work available to
volunteers is mostly limited to administrative chores and fundraising. Volunteers of America, for example, is almost entirely run by career social workers and full-time staff.

I think the reason for so little actual volunteering

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