“Connections between generations are essential for the mental health and stability of the nation.” – Margaret Mead
“It all starts in the family!” is a favorite phrase of my dear, spry friend Rae, who turned 99 years young on March 8th. She observes that all of society’s ills are rooted in early childhood, a thought echoed by mental health and social service professionals. Her comment supports the proven fact that education of young women represents a major turning point in ending generational poverty.
Granted, young men need life guidance too, having been one once. I remember how discovering my life purpose, enigmas, and philosophical questions seemed hugely overwhelming to me. Mostly, I recall how my generous, protective mentors reduced my worries to simple solutions. I believe that people everywhere hunger for real, caring, interpersonal connections.
Constant, daily, bad news media bombardment about the most negative, scary sensationalism of the day makes us think society has no moral compass; that the sky is falling. Still, there’s an excellent reason to be more hopeful & optimistic.
Today Wisdom of Age proudly launches the Intergenerational Leadership Circle Program, my way of giving back. In hopeful anticipation, I offer you an opportunity to plant a precious seed to nurture and watch grow. Imagine real, sustainable, positive change in your own neighborhood.
Your donation brings generations together, sparks meaningful dialogue, and ignites the fire that creates real and lasting change. Encouraging dialogue and understanding between generations improves the quality of life for young and old alike. Join our circle of caring friends. Please encourage friends to join the longevity revolution movement by connecting at www.wisdomofage.net/blog.
Sadly, too often in today’s world, relationships between young and old are virtually non-existent. Fractured by circumstances derived from broken homes, long-distance relationships, and the absence of consistent positive role models, children from kindergarten through high school form perceptions of old people based solely upon what they see, read, or hear.
Typical terms used to describe older folks are far from flattering, including “wrinkled, grumpy, crotchety, absent minded, forgetful, fragile, feeble, stuck in the past, past their prime, or a burden on society.”
These labels serve to perpetuate our society’s culture of ‘ageism’ while continuing to overlook, undervalue, and stereotype the elderly. Such discrimination deprives society of the varied experiences, wisdom, and value that each generation inherently brings to one another.
In our Western culture, negative stereotypes are internalized at a young age. Over time these personal ‘truths’ become embedded within individuals and our culture. Constantly reinforced profiling hardens into prejudicial attitudes. Just remember that as each of us grows older, such labeling may someday likely be used to describe us. That’s the reason why it so critical to encourage intergenerational relationships which nurture and benefit the young and the old.
When seniors and children engage in activities, their favorite songs, games, and projects are recalled as elders share their skills, patience, and expertise with one another. When older adults tutor young people, they bring critical one-on-one attention to their skills-building. Simultaneously & symbiotically, young people tend to help seniors to become more comfortable with new technologies.
Intergenerational Relationships = Better Health + More Fun!
Older adults engaged in intergenerational relationships consistently report experiencing better mental and emotional health, improved physical stamina, higher degrees of life satisfaction and personal fulfillment. Children and teens benefit when mentors support their self-esteem, help to reduce negative attitudes and high-risk behaviors, increase social connection skills, improve academic performance, enhance self-confidence, and provide a stability and inner peace. Intergenerational interactions serve to diminish ever-prevalent, harmful ageist stereotypes and serves the health and wellness of all.
That is why I ask for your support in bringing Wisdom of Age. Intergenerational Leadership Circle Programs to many communities, including your own. Dedicated to nothing short of a total transformation of how society values age, relationships, and individual wisdom, our grass-roots, locally-generated initiative involves youth and elders in ways that “educate, engage, empower, and inspire” positive community changes.
The Wisdom of Age Intergenerational Leadership Circle Program is available to any local organization, school, senior center, or faith-based group which promotes, or desires to promote intergenerational dialogue, understanding, friendship, and opportunity. I will personally support you.
Thanks to your generosity, organizations and schools receive the WoA Intergenerational Leadership Wisdom Circle facilitator’s kit which includes apparel featuring beautiful book images:
Please give as you are able. Working together, we can change the culture of ageism for all generations.
CLICK HERE to donate!
Join me in making a difference in people’s lives. You’ll find yourself making a difference in your own life.