Monday, 11 December 2017

Aging and Saging

The inspiration for this post came from a meditation earlier today. It involved the whole idea of inclusiveness which is beginning to come back into society, but there are still areas which could be fruitfully included. The cultural norm of our contemporary society is that you grow up, get educated work and then retire. Along with this assumption is the idea that while you're working you're contributing to society and once you retire, you're not. Because you're not earning.

But contributing to society is so much more than earning money and consumerism. At its fullest it must be about making connections with each other, building a society which works for us all and includes people of all ages, races, genders and abilities. And this is where we're going wrong. There are so many people, apparently outside of mainstream society who have so much to contribute and are excluded from doing so because their input is not valued or, in  some cases, actually devalued.

So let's look at the changes taking place in society today, in our consciousness and all levels of economic, social and environmental areas. Probably the biggest shift that we, as a species, have ever been through. This is beyond one section of society to deal with. It needs us all to contribute - we all bring ideas, knowledge, experience and the possibilities of deeper connection and growth. We, as a species, can't ignore one section of society. We need to include everyone to get through these massive changes ahead.

So as I think back on my life and the huge changes which have happened in my lifetime, I begin to understand that what my generation bring is a sense of perspective. We experienced the '60's (or at least some of us did), the good, optimistic times and also the less optimistic times of austerity and lack which we're in the middle of now. And this broader perspective means that we can see these phases in terms of a greater whole.  It also means that we're more inclined to think outside the box of the current reality, which is mostly politically driven. It means that we can bring a broader understanding and hope for the future because we did experience the optimism of the 60's and the huge changes of  that era. We know what was possible then and is possible now if there is the will to change the pervading political and economic climate.

On Facebook I've seen posts about connections being made between the young and old and how they can both so enrich each other's lives. In ancient cultures, the elderly were revered for their wisdom and understanding - they were the elders who knew the tradition of the tribe and can see that wider perspective, they helped to build the community and keep it together, they were often the healers in the tribe.

So isn't it time that we learned from these indigenous cultures, allowed the elderly, the pensioners, the disabled and people from all races and cultures their voice in our world - build creative communities together so that, as a species, we can use all of the resources available to us to help us navigate our way through these interesting times,

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