Between ChangingAging Tour performances last year year I launched our first Gratitude Tour. I travelled up the West Coast (San Francisco to Portland) with a small group and every day we stopped at Independent Living communities along the way. Our mission— express gratitude for the elders we met along the way, and the people whose daily work makes the lives of those elders better.
Our goal is to bring people together and look at ways to inspire and sustain a genuine human community.
American culture has never really dealt with the jarring dissonance it has created between Aging and Independence.
I have done my level best to reform nursing homes through the “Eden Alternative.” I have tried to re-invent nursing homes with the “Green House” model. But up until now I felt I had still failed to answer the simplest and most important question: “What do people really want?”
In preparing to hit the road this April for the 2017 ChangingAging Tour, my eye increasingly falls on that next generation to take up the purpose of Changing Aging.
Life had presented us with a choice: we could accept the “tragedy narrative” that fit so seamlessly with our overpowering sense of loss or we could tell a new story. Because of our experience being with and learning from elders, and our openness to learning from people living with dementia, we knew there was a new story waiting to be told.
As part of the Age of Disruption Tour, we host a lunch with AARP at each tour stop to have an intimate conversation with local age disrupters. We’d like to share some of the wisdom that emerges.
Much of our youth is dedicated to figuring out what we believe and getting good– at something. We begin to play “life’s most dangerous game” when we reach the point that we are able to challenge the concept that our identity is defined narrowly by our accumulated skills and beliefs.