from A Grandpa's Notebook, Meyer Moldeven

Recalling that far more assertive and influential time in their lives, the elderly insist on their right to age gracefully, usefully, and so far as they possibly can, their way. Rather than merely riding off into the sunset, older adults choose to brighten the horizons of their minds and lives through continued involvement in family, schools, work place, and community. Most elderly reject the diminution of their abilities and interests, although as they age into the seventh and eighth decades they may be compelled to restrict their direct involvement somewhat. Their capabilities, reduced by time and the tides, are nevertheless firmly based on direct on-the-job experience in managing households, family affairs, and professional and technical careers. With such knowledge and experience the elderly will remain a vital resource.

(From Surviving The Future, by Arnold Toynbee, Oxford University Press, 1971):

Man is a social being, and therefore, among all the objects for his love that there are in the universe and beyond it, he ought, I suppose, love his fellow human beings first and foremost. But he should also love all non-human living creatures, animals, and plants as well because they are all akin to man; they too are branches of the great tree of life. This tree has a common root; we do not know where the root comes from, but we do know that we all spring from it. Man should also love inanimate nature, because this, too, is part of the universe which is man's habitat.

(Our grandchildren) are not responsible for the existing state of the world. The reality is that the middle-aged generation (the parents of the rising generation) brought them into the world and is educating or miseducating them, or just ignoring their educational needs. If the middle-years or older generations are indignant at the rising generation, who is really at fault? Who shirked their responsibilities to their children and grandchildren? And with whom lies the initiative to resolve these inadequacies? In effect, it is up to the older generation to take the initiative to bring about reconciliation between itself and the generations that are to follow them.

(Back) (Index) (Next)

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.