Growing potential

This year Christmas brings even more than a yummy meal and stockings full of giggles. This year Dec 25th also brings a list of must see films and I am particularly looking forward to “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” adapted from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man who is born in his eighties and ages backwards.

It is indeed a curious and intriguing story and in a society where we somewhat stereotype age with wisdom the idea of a full life lived backwards has me wondering how we might all treat one another if this were the case. In some cultures youthful looks are such a prize so I am sure that at first glance the concept of aging in reverse may seem like a dream come true; gaining wisdom and youth in parallel, but what happens when the clock keeps on ticking (backwards) and having youth on your side actually becomes detrimental?

Today our fundamental assumptions about aging are changing and along with the challenges come opportunities. More children will know their grandparents and even their great-grandparents, especially their great-grandmothers; parental advice more often than not just offers up another opportunity to rebel but rolling our eyes at our grandparents has never really cut it. There is a palpable point where grandparents and grandchildren bond, respect and are in cahoots and life lessons are learned without effort. Interestingly human nature seems to dictate that the majority of the mothers and fathers of said grandchildren don’t actually ever give up their own rebelling ‘inner child’ so the power of this relationship is not always appreciated!

It seems to me that there is that ‘bit in the middle’ of life, whether you perceive yourself as growing old or growing young, where you begin to appreciate just where you are at. For me it is when I am able to hold true that my life is not about what I do, it’s about how I choose to show up in the world. I know I am on track when I am able to string more of these moments of truth together and have a greater sense of serenity in my life.

So assuming (given our aging population) that there are many more people on our planet today who have had their personal ‘ah ha’ moments about who they are in the world, I am fascinated by what could be created. We have many people in our communities who have incredible life experiences, are still fundamentally young at heart and are not yet ready to quietly retire as prior generations felt it polite to do and I think the world’s leaders should harness the power of this immediately and instigate an buddy scheme between generations!

Through a scheme such as this we could all glean more knowledge on a completely different level, discover some stuff-of-life golden gems and probably learn to sweat the small stuff less, my only request is that my 80 year old buddy could look a little like Brad Pitt.

Wishing you all a wonderful multi generational holiday.

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative

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1 Response to “Growing potential”

  1. 1 Kate January 2, 2009 at 2:15 am

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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