If we are lucky, we are all getting older with each passing day. From the day we are born, we are aging. But we could be sage-ing. Read this post to learn the difference. This post is relevant to all of us.
If you regularly read my posts, I blog about leading, living, and sage-ing or conscious aging. Our society does not make it easy to become a sage. Why?
Our society is obsessed with youth. We receive youth centric messages from the media all of the time. I read a book about agism and people in Silicon Valley, particularly in the technology industry, feel they are aging out by 40! Society reinforces youth is good and old is bad. But we need to push back!
I often ask people in workshops: “Would you go back to being a teenager again? Would you want to be younger?” While there are aspects of youth that we miss, most people say they would not go back in time. To support this point is the startling suicide rate is soaring among teens! It is the second leading cause of death for teenagers. This is very sad, true, and hard to understand from an older perspective. It is hard to be a parent of teens, but these statistics are sad and scary. If youth was so inspiring, these statistics would not be soaring. And research says social media does more to make people feel isolated and lonely rather than connected and valued. From a USA TODAY article:
“The suicide rate for white children and teens between 10 and 17 was up 70% between 2006 and 2016, the latest data analysis available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although black children and teens kill themselves less often than white youth do, the rate of increase was higher — 77%.”
Recently, I read an article that I wish I had written by Gary Foster titled “Your Second Half of Life Should Be Filled With These Four Letter Words.” In fact, I liked the article so much that I contacted Gary Foster and he has agreed to be interviewed for my monthly podcast Becoming a Sage. Foster says this about the second half of life:
“The second half of life (I’ll optimistically call it the 50-to-100 phase) is rife with both opportunity and challenge. It’s a time when social expectations expect us to begin to “wind down” rather than “rewind;” to “land” and not “take off;” to retire and not rewire; and to retreat and not advance. It’s a time often referred to with four-letter words like slow, idle, aged, gray, shot, worn, gone, beat, done.”
Since I am out to retire the concept of retirement, I agree we need to replace the words above with more positive words. In the article, he suggests the following four letter words and briefly describes what he means by each.
Many of these positive four letter words are important aspects of sage-ing. In other words:
- Stay connected because social isolation is a killer.
- Work is anything you do–for free, for money, part-time, for yourself, for others.
- Keep moving. Be active.
- Seek wisdom.
- Seek out role models.
- Be a role model for others.
- Lead by inspiring and lifting up others.
Are you sage-ing or aging?
Who are your role models for this phase of life?
Are you a role model?
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