Elder Wisdom Needed: Now More Than Ever.
Roughly 30% of the US population today hadn’t been born on 9/11. Nearly half weren’t born to see the stock market precipitously crash in 1987. And even fewer felt the fear of the most contagious years of the AIDS epidemic.
A young friend recently lamented that all he’s ever known was ten years of good times since he started his business in 2010. In short, he has no idea how to get through a downturn.
I was recently conversing with my fellow Boomer, Gabriel, who was worried that Modern Elders would be less valuable in an economy with rampant unemployment. Of course, if you were looking at our economic crisis in numbers, he’d have a good point. And there is no denying that this pandemic will cause an uphill financial battle for many elders. Ageism will likely rear its ugly head even higher.
That said, we definitely have something to offer those younger than us. While we’ve learned circumstances don’t necessarily improve as we age, our response to them does. Through a lifetime of experiences, we’ve developed coping mechanisms and pattern recognition to address the confusion, anger, and anxiety that arrives when life throws us a curveball. And, let’s face it, this is one of the nastiest curveballs we’ve ever seen.
It’s ironic that most of the world’s most famous futurists are older, even though they won’t likely be able to experience the future they are imagining. It’s equally ironic that just when our eyesight starts to fail, our future vision intensifies. And it is this vision which the world needs so desperately. In other words, we must move toward the front lines of this pandemic. While we may continue to let the medical professionals courageously tend to those who are physically infirmed, we must realize that emotional carnage is everywhere, and that first responders come in all shapes and sizes (and ages).
Your courage is needed. Your vision. Your hope.
You have seen so much, witnessed the best and the worst humanity has to offer. Time has taught you that life is never as good as it looks nor as bad as it seems. The fog lifts. And we will be whole again.
Young people are hungry for this message—hungry for what you have to offer.