If you identified with these lyrics this message is for you. If you don’t recognize them, ask your mom or dad. This song, from the musical Hair made popular by the 5th Dimension in the late 60’s was the anthem of our generation. We were the new age. The boomers. The new generation that was going to change the world. With us, there would be peace love and understanding.
“When the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.
This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius , Age of Aquarius”
Life happened. Some remained on communes and followed an alternative lifestyle but most of us went into the workforce, had families, careers, established our own businesses. Now here we are at that point that previous generations stopped. Stopped striving, stopped trying, and some would say, stopped living. But not us, we are the new age. We are the boomers who changed the world by our mere numbers. Every decade we changed things from the Sputnik era of education to the economic force of the current economy and our impact on social security and Medicare. just by our sheer numbers we affected all areas of society.
We have reached a new frontier. A new age. We are at the age for which we have no roadmap. Oh sure there are challenges –creaky knees – memory lapses, and all those issues that come upon us because we don’t do what we need to do to stay our healthiest and most vibrant. Challenges we can meet. I challenge you to continue the mission. The mission you started with while you were still starry eyed. Truth be told, I am not really a boomer as it is defined. I was born in that trough during World War II that made the bubble stand out all the more as those babies were born following the war. That huge bubble on the population scale that makes this generation the largest demographic. I consider myself a leading edge boomer – a pathfinder if you will. So where are we going in this new age? Assuming the world does not end in December as some say is predicted by the Mayan calendar? Elders as I define here are not “senior citizens” who get gold watches at retirement to move to warmer climes, and play cards and bingo, and eat early bird specials. While a previous generation might have moved to places like Sun City and Leisure World, today’s elders are seeking more active, involved lives. These new elders are the wisdom-keepers who have an ongoing responsibility for maintaining society’s well-being and following a course they are passionate about. These passions may be spiritual, political, or ecological. They want to heal the planet, bring world peace and, by the way, feed the children. I place these responsibilities into three categories: Mediating, mentoring and motivating. We Mediate by: Bringing our experience and wisdom to further alternative dispute resolution whether in neighborhood councils, workplace disputes, worldwide peacemaking, and yes, even to more peaceful marriage dissolution. – My specialty Mentors are Elders who become sages capable of guiding their families and communities with hard-earned wisdom. Mentors help the next generation find their place in the world and to become successful, ultimately also becoming sages themselves. Elders Motivate by: providing a cheering section for social change whether motivating their peers, their children or their younger co-workers. Elders motivate others to care about the planet and each other. As we approach the October, November, and December of our lives, the time for harvesting arrives. This involves reflecting on our achievements, feeling pride in our contribution to family and society, and ultimately finding our place in the cosmos. Eldering implies that we take active responsibility for our destiny in old age, living by conscious choice rather than social expectation. To help motivate you here are some examples of elders who have become sages in later life: Some of these are from previous generations. All of them offer inspiration.
Did you know that at Age 70: Dr. Mayo founded a clinic that bears his name? And ladies, fashion icon Coco Channel debut the Chanel suit when she was 71? Of course, Grandma Moses began her career at 78 while at 89 Frank Lloyd Wright completed the Guggenheim Museum. At 81 Cloris Leachman was dancing with the stars while John Glenn was returning to the stars in a Space Shuttle Discovery mission at 77 and Pablo Casals was conducting a youth orchestra as it performs a Mozart symphony at 96. When he was 83, baby doctor Benjamin Spock was arrested for protesting the Viet Nam War and Linus Pauling published his book How to Live longer and Feel Better. He was 85. I think I need that book! A golfer hit a hole in one at 99 and a 100 year old Japanese man climbed Mt. Fuji. A California woman gets her first driver’s license at 91 and a 97 year old Wisconsin resident divorced his wife, I guess there are clients out there at all ages. Just to show there is hope for me yet, an Australian woman married a younger man. She was 102 and he was 83. Research scientist, Ray Cristi retired at 104 after an 80 year career starting at Columbia University.
We do have examples of feats in the third act of life. Will you join me on this path to becoming an elder? We are finding a new age. The Age of Aquarius? Maybe.
I’ll see you on the Journey.
Harmony and understanding Sympathy and trust abounding No more falsehoods or derisions Golden living dreams of visions Mystic crystal revelation And the mind’s true liberation Aquarius! Aquarius! When the moon is in the Seventh House And Jupiter aligns with Mars Then peace will guide the planets And love will steer the stars This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius The Age of Aquarius Aquarius! Aquarius!
Note: The photo is taken at the Mayan ruins on December 21, 2012– the day purported to be the last day on the Mayan Calendar. Now seen as the start of a new epoch. Much like the Age of Aquarius!