As I dig into writing a new book about the approaching “crucible” experience of helping 70 million Boomers exit adulthood and enter into elderhood, I can see how this transition is going to be shaped by world historical economic and ecological stress.
The Post War generation might not be interested in aging or the environment, or the details of macroeconomics but…
… are definitely interested in them.
I am on the hunt for unifying concepts that can help me tie these seemingly disparate ideas together. Last week a friend loaned me a copy of the book “Plenitude.” The book introduces and then develops the title concept. A summary:
“These, then are the individual principles of plenitude: work and spend less, create and connect more. In turn they yield ecological benefits– emit and degrade less— and human ones— enjoy and thrive more.”
The author, Juliet Schor has, at most, only a passing interest with aging in this book; but her arguments are spot on when viewed as meditations on the exit from adulthood and entry into elderhood. Look at this again — “plenitude: work and spend less, create and connect more.” This is the road to elderhood.
It turns out that the great crossing which stretches out in front of the Post War generation also bears upon our shared economic and ecological crises. Consider these four ideas and see if and how you think they connect to the Iron Law of Aging:
* Principle 1. Work Less (shorter hours). A new allocation of time outside the market (your job) – Now you have time for Principle 2.
* Principle 2. Buy Less. Make, Grow – do things for oneself. And sell what you don’t use, i.e. food, energy – anything.
* Principle 3. Create More. Take a slow boat to China rather than a fast tanker of goods in the opposite direction – conserve land, air, water and their resources.
* Principle 4. Connect More. Like money and material goods, social capital is an economic term. Connect to each other and community.
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