By Jan Anderson, Director of Spiritual Care

They’re a lot of “isms” in our culture. These are labels that we use towards groups of people with specific worldviews. Currently the world is experiencing massive change across every spectrum. People of all ages are finding it increasingly difficult to cope in a world of rapid change and unrest.

This, however, is a time of tremendous opportunity, a time where we all can act as catalysts for change. Let’s look at the way we view aging. Look at the photos above. What do you see? Now look closer.

What if the “third” part of life was a time to reinvent ourselves rather than a time seen by many as a slow decline? What if it could be a time not just to reflect on the past, but to distill and use our life’s wisdom from past experiences, highs and lows, successes and failures? …a time to forgive ourselves and others in order to let go of all “old baggage” that holds us back from moving on in our explorations? …a time to dream new dreams or reclaim old ones? What if? Many of today’s elder adults are defying the stereotypes of aging in some remarkable ways.

They are traveling new paths of self-discovery and renewed spirituality, trying out new pursuits, contributing to the welfare of society and the planet through volunteerism, activism in chosen causes, and the creative arts. They are helping to transform society’s view of the “Third Age” as a time of fulfillment, contentment, and new opportunities, the climax of life, rather than of demise.

This is the time to change the narrative, to initiate dialogue, and to break free from “isms” that create divisions. Join us in building a movement of unity. Want to hear more stories? Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!


This article was originally written in our 2017 Change Agent Winter Issue

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