Wisdom & Eldership: Exploring the Second Half of Life
Eldership presents the promise of wise leadership for the greater good. Yet becoming an “elder” has lost most of its meaning in our culture. Many key thought leaders, from psychologist Carl Jung to contemporary theologian Richard Rohr, have pointed towards two halves of life and their corresponding tasks and gifts. They note that only those in the second half of life can bring the necessary wisdom of a true elder and mature leader.
Our focus is to bring back WISDOM as an important hallmark for society, and to do that, we need wise ELDERS. It’s not that wisdom is solely the purview of the old. Developing wisdom is equally important in youth. But wisdom is most often developed through experience – life experience. And that comes normally with age. Too often we look at older people as OLD, in the way, slow, out of touch and non-value producing. We try to put them in retirement villages so we can keep moving quickly in the direction that “produces value,” or so we think. And, as a result, many older people have adopted the same feeling – they are old, out of touch, with nothing to offer. But until around the industrial revolution, elders were traditionally respected for their wisdom and perspective.
Our programs are based on education and proaction (action that initiates change as opposed to reaction to events): First, education through public programs designed to raise awareness of the importance of eldership in society and the responsibility of elders in the community. Second, eduction through programs designed to bring elders back to, or further along, the path to wisdom. And third, to encourage these elders to actively engage in the community in some meaningful way.
In addition to educational programs, Rick also offers coaching services around the “second half of life,” wisdom, the midlife transition, and eldership.