“There lies the longing to know and be known by another fully and humanly, and that beneath that there lies a longing, closer to the heart of the matter still, which is the longing to be at long last where you fully belong.” — Frederick Buechner, “The Longing for Home”
The Rising Importance of Older Workers.
Somedays, I feel like an idiot. On other days, I feel like our MEA shaman, Saul, with his premonitions. For a decade now, I’ve been saying that the organizational world seems to be unprepared for the emergence of the “modern elder,” someone who is as curious as they are wise. Part of the reason we created MEA was to address the need to mint modern elders.
Some Career Advice to a Modern Elder.
I received the following email from an MEA alum the other day, and I asked him if I could share it with you.
I Miss You, Ted Lasso!
It’s Wednesday, the day when the weekly, new episode of Ted Lasso normally drops. Alas, it ain’t dropping any more as, unless the show resurrects with a new name and storyline, Ted is no more. I had a serious cry when I watched the final episode at 5 am a week ago as I’ve long thought that Coach Ted was a model modern elder.
Bosses Want Hard Workers—So They’re Hiring Older People
A recent Wall Street Journal article with the title of today’s blog got me thinking: is there a different work ethic for older versus younger employees, and if so, is that a new phenomenon? A survey of Americans’ values found that hard work is essential to three-quarters of older workers, while this drops to 61% for those 18 to 29. Many employers are taking note and are focusing on older workers again.
Ignorance is to Knowledge as Foolishness is to Wisdom.
For the past couple of decades, business magazines have fawned over the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world because, as Zuck suggested, "Young people are just smarter."
"Elder" is the Answer.
In the warmth of my farewell morning’s sun from the patio of MEA’s Baja campus, a message came to me – one rising from the open conversations and deep learning my workshop days had offered. It rang clear and true: "Elder” is an invitation. "Elderly" is what happens when we don’t RSVP "Yes."
50 is the Age of Counsel.
One of my favorite Jewish texts is found in a section of the Mishna - a code of Jewish law that dates to about 200 c.e. - called Avot. Avot means “ancestors.” It’s filled with short statements of advice, ethics, and wisdom. Sounds like a perfect handbook for those seeking modern elderhood, doesn’t it (but then, I’m a rabbi so I’m drawn to these texts of wisdom)?
Modern Elders With Latent Talent.
I love wordplay. I'm particularly fascinated by words that have a relationship with each other if you just switch two letters. For example, if you switch the "l" and "t" in "latent," it becomes "talent." Just saying the phrase "latent talent" sounds like a poem.
Jimmy Carter, Our Modern Elder President.
Imagine being the most powerful person on earth and then publicly embarrassed with one of the largest electoral defeats of a sitting U.S. President. Jimmy Carter left office at 56, ripe for a serious midlife crisis. What comes next when you rose and fell so precipitously?
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