I woke up one morning with a message. From that space between asleep and awake, that hypnagogic space, I awoke with this: “Bring back Elder. Write a book.”
“Sure,” I thought. “What’s an Elder?”
The first book I could find on Amazon with ‘Elder’ in the title was In the Arms of Elders by one William H. Thomas, M.D. I loved it. I was inspired. Encouraged, I wrote the book and sent an early draft to Dr. Bill. He liked my ideas but said “. . . it just isn’t a book yet.” It wasn’t. Years later, it is. Due for e-book release Monday, October 26, my new book is titled, Elders Rock! Don’t Just Get Older: Become an Elder.
But it takes more than one person, more than one book, to restore Elder as our natural “Third Stage” of life. Dr. Arleen Bump, Senior Pastor of the Center for Spiritual Living in Fort Lauderdale read it. “Dr. Thomas is right. And you also are right. Let’s form an Elder Group at the Center.”
Three months ago, the two of us initiated such a Group at the Center for Spiritual Living. Our Elders Group has two great notions: Our world needs the Wisdom of Elders. And we need Elders to teach Elders to teach Elders to teach … and so on.
There are no models, so we are making it up as we go along. We are excited to be pioneers in the restoration of Elder as our natural “Third Stage of Life.”
Here’s our thinking:
Our world has been run by mere adults without Elder supervision for too long. Our world, with its immature You OR Me worldview leaves many of us out. That worldview has led to our present world of sexism, of racism and ageism. As Einstein told us, “The world we have now is a function of the thinking we have done to date.” And that thinking, at its most basic, rests on an immature worldview, a You OR Me paradigm, with its underlying assumptions of separation and perceived shortages.
A world that includes the Wise Elder, would have a different worldview ―a You AND Me worldview, a paradigm of inclusion, compassion and sufficiency. A world that works for everyone with no one and nothing left out.
Our growing Elder group of fifteen has met four times and each time has declared, “I am an Elder!” Our ages range from 52 to 85. We have varied backgrounds but our commonality is what matters. Each of us has long known we were committed to making a difference. The group works with the wisdom attributes of Elder – compassion, listening and acceptance. We are inspired by the Margaret Meade quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Our Elders Group is so excited that Dr. Bill is bringing his Age of Disruption Tour to Fort Lauderdale on November 6. Go Bill!
We look forward to following it up with a reception and book signing for Elders Rock! On December 4. Visit the Center for Spiritual Living for details.