Tag Archives: elders

Reconnecting Generations

This blog post is reprinted with the kind permission of Grace Lee Boggs. It was originally published in the Living for Change Newsletter, published by the James & Grace Lee Boggs Center in Detroit.

The older I grow, the more I am convinced that the human race can only continue to evolve if we overcome the age segregation that has contributed so much to our dehumanization over the last few decades.

When I was an undergraduate in the early 1930s, I heard Ira D. Reid speak at a weekend college

read more

Wisdom 101: A matter of time

By Jim Selman | Bio

The older I am, the more I reflect on the aphorisms all around us and wonder why it is so difficult to accept and live with this obvious wisdom. Robert Fulghum memorialized many of them in his bestseller All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. All of these little ‘nuggets’ of wisdom we’ve accumulated over the years are generally, well, wise. It is befuddling why so few people take them to heart.

Why do so many spend a lifetime learning these kinds of lessons the hard way? Actually, why is it that any of us continue to act badly, do things we know won’t work, or become engaged in behaviors that, in any of a hundred different ways, are harmful to ourselves and others?

Theologians, psychologists, teachers, philosophers and parents have been occupied by these questions for a very long time. The larger underlying questions at the heart of this inquiry are:

  • “Who am I?”
  •  “Do I really have a choice about what I do?”
  • “Is it really possible to learn from our experience?”

If by ‘experience’

read more

7 Reasons Why Elders Make Great Lovers (and have better sex)

By Jim Selman | Bio

There is an old joke that says, “Sex after 60 is better than ever, but the mounting and dismounting aren’t so pretty.” If you’re laughing, you know what I’m talking about. If not, you’re still young enough to have something to look forward to. I attended a conference recently featuring Steve Pavlina, the number one blogger on personal development. The topic was about expanding traffic to your blog and one of his ideas was to write about something ‘timeless’, something that lots of people have in common and that breaks the mold of everyone’s expectations. Well, my writing has been about transforming our notions of growing older and to encourage intergenerational dialogue, so what better topic to muse on than SEX.

I know it’s kind of weird to think about our parents and grandparents ‘doing it’, but the fact is that they do. We just tend to avoid discussing that it happens among our Elders. While Elders are usually older than we are, that’s not always the case. In some cultures, the young are the Elders, since they are more connected to what is important to the community than the old. As I have been saying on this blog for the last few years, we need to get real and be open across

read more

Elders and the Environment – Part 2

By Shae Hadden

According to Dr. David Suzuki, “it is not progress to use up the rightful legacy of our children and grandchildren.” He opened the first Elders and the Environment Forum on Monday in Vancouver, Canada with a keynote address that focused on the role of elders in the environmental movement and how we can make a difference:

Tell it like it is, find our voice and speak out Tell us all what is possible and keep us fixed on creating the future Remind younger generations that true wealth

read more

Ageism 2009

By Jim Selman | Bio

There is nothing new about ageism, other than the fact that there are increasing numbers of people growing older (which means increasing numbers of examples of age discrimination against older people). The latest statistics from AARP show formal anti-discrimination complaints are up roughly 30% in the workplace. I had some fun with this in my recent blog, proposing we create the National Organization of Pissed-Off Elders (N.O.P.E.). However, it isn’t a laughing matter when we see a potentially tragic problem growing in our society that can be prevented.

I say tragic because ageism, whether institutionalized, culturally embedded or motivated by fear or greed, is a wedge being driven between parents and children and between grandparents and grandchildren. If we don’t address ageism, we will all continue this ‘circumstantial drift’ toward making age a political constituency that has older people competing with younger people over scarce resources (or whatever the coin of the realm might be on a given topic). At a time when

read more

N.O.P.E.: National Organization of Pissed Off Elders

By Jim Selman | Bio

I want to create a new organization to stamp out stupidity and indifference and restore common decency and goodwill 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 place. For example…

  • Thinking we get stupid as we get older
  • Growth at any cost
  • Short-sightedness
  • Self-righteousness
  • Special interests
  • Contrived controversy
  • Bullying, greed and intolerance
  • Turning an economic mechanism like capitalism into an ideology
  • “Us versus Them”ism

N.O.P.E. could have both positive and negative strategies. For example, when we’re talking to someone who is speaking baby talk to us or raising their voice so we can hear, we could shout

read more

Family Day

By Kevin Brown | Bio

Today is ‘Family Day’, a public holiday in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan.  It is also celebrated in South Africa, in the Australian Capital Territory, in the state of Arizona in the U.S., and in the Republic of Vanuatu in the South Pacific.

In Alberta where I live, ‘Family Day’ was declared to recognize the values held by the pioneers who built the province and the values of home and family. It is celebrated on the third

read more

Vanishing Pensions

By Jim Selman | Bio

I have had several conversations with friends in Buenos Aires about how people deal with their financial security in their older years. To my surprise, the uniform answer is that they mostly don’t. Then I hear a story which, by my naïve North American standards is shocking, but whhich reveals something important for all of us as we contemplate our own future and worry about the uncertainties in the financial markets.

The story goes like this. Prior to 1994, all pensions in

read more

Multi-Generational Collaboration: Shaping Tomorrow, Together II

By Juanita Brown, David Isaacs and Samantha Tan | World Cafe website

Reprinted with kind permission from "Changing the World Together", Spring/Summer 2008 Kosmos Journal
PO Box 2102
Lenox, MA 01240.  Subscriptions

Juanita Brown and David Isaacs are co-founders of the World Café, an innovative approach to large group dialogue being used across sectors on six continents. Their award-winning book, The World Café: Shaping our Futures Through Conversations

read more

Privatizing Trust

By Jim Selman | Bio

One
of the central tenets of my work is that everything happens in a
context of relationship—a shared background of concerns, commitments
and practices—what I call a background of relatedness. We may make
commitments as individuals, but we always fulfill them in networks of
relationships with other people.

The other day I was asking, “What does it mean for an economy to collapse?” What is the worst-case scenario of the current ‘meltdown’ and ‘freezing

read more