As I reflect upon the improbability of my ripening, I often turn with delight and inspiration to the life and death of Nelson Mandela. Mandela taught us that giving the self, once it has ripened, is elder wisdom, and the apotheosis of maturation.
A great way to start this piece would be to say, “I haven’t much to say about this topic,” and leave it at that. But, I’m not that humble. I am, in that regard very much an elder-in-training.
Why are there these special, all-cringeworthy words for getting older? Why aren’t I the same person, granted, in somewhat different form?
When science and spirituality are joined in the service of healing an elder’s body and honoring an elder’s soul, there is no more potent protocol humanity can devise.
The Age of Actualization is a magnificent addition to the literature on both aging and positive psychology. More importantly in these dire times, it may be a critical source of wisdom we humans need to right our ship.
Frances McDormand on aging (via NPR): “I want to be revered. I want to be an elder; I want to be an elderess.”
In 1999 Dr. Bill Thomas and I were invited by Chief Oren Lyons to visit The People of the Six Nations, also known by the French term, Iroquois Confederacy.
New York City celebrated the 114th birthday of its oldest resident today — Susannah Mushatte Jones, a.k.a. Miss Susie, of Brooklyn.