My Dear Friends and Readers,
I began to ponder the “concept” of old in our American society. Overall, my sense is that as a culture, we feel old age is the time to give up, let go of our dreams, our health, our sexuality.
This is not a mind-set that I wish to embrace. I feel as if I have finally figured it out-that I have accepted my authentic self. I have the spectrum of sixty years to reflect upon to determine what works for me. However, this culture tells me that I should be preparing to hang it up. What is the thinking behind a culture that says the goal to life is retirement? What is the cultural thinking and background that would promote the carrot being retirement?
According to researchers our society in the United Stated values the ability to work. This is unlike other cultures who venerate the elderly. However as I look at this country’s history of work I see a culture that wants people to work for as little as possible for as long as possible and in the worst case scenario using slave labor for more than 200 years.
But what about us who love our work? We want to do more of what we love. We want to be in the best shape so that we can do it as long as possible. This is a paradigm that I hope will infiltrate our culture so that we can begin to look forward to a life that is fulfilling until the day we die.
This is not the time to give up; it is the time to up your game, afterall, it’s the last quarter to be your best self. I do not want to retire. I want to live out my dreams. If they don’t come true, I will die trying.
When I say “trying” when you are passionately seeking something it does not occour as work. Life is joyful when play and work are intertwined.
I know I cannot run as fast or as far as I once could, but physical strength is not my greatest contribution at this point of my life. I offer wisdom, experience and insight. There are young people for physical work and activity. There is no substitute for experience. Having overcome adversity is a skill.
We should honor our elderly and utilize their wisdom.