Our youth-centered culture has largely undermined the role of “elders,” assuming that people have made their contribution by the time they retire and now are of limited use to society. In fact, aging people are viewed by some as a social problem, draining resources away from children and younger adults. Unfortunately, many of us in this stage have internalized this myth and see little purpose in our lives. We worry about being a “burden” on our children and society as a whole.
There is an alternative viewpoint! It is important that elders make a contribution to society that can ONLY come from those who have gained wisdom from decades of life experience. Instead of seeing ourselves as liability for society, using up resources from Social Security and Medicare, we have the opportunity and the obligation to make a vital contribution to the well-being of our community, our country and our world.
This raises the personal question, “What is it I have to offer?” Another way to frame the question is “What is my purpose now that my family is raised and my full-time career is complete.” These are questions worth mulling. The well-being of society is not only in the hands of the young but rests with us as well.
Our unique gifts which have ripened over time will benefit future generations.