Here’s a nice metaphor for life…. you set sail on a journey and you are missing your leader. This of course can apply to all walks of life. It also can apply to yourself. Off you go on a journey to accomplish something and you haven’t got a plan or a goal other than to survive. Once you’re out there on the seas of life you realize what the hell am I doing? (This makes me think of the United States under the George Bush regime. Remember Iraq, Saddam Hussein, weapons of mass destruction??) We all need to be a better captains of our own ships. We’ve all been there. The take away is think before you act, choose wisely. Are you listening Mr. Obama?
I have heard so many people including my ex-wife say “I cannot use a computer it’s too difficult.”” They say this like it’s a badge of honor. Like clinging to the past is an appropriate way to honor their generation. This is akin to the car enthusiast who buys a car which he drove as a teenager, spends his weekends fixing it up so that it looks just like the one he drove on saturday night oh those many years ago. maybe once or twice a month he’ll take this relic on the road and spit toxic fumes into the grills of cars that trail after him. Well, this is not the norm.
Although the stereotype persists that older adults are ‘stuck in their ways,’ close-minded and uninterested in learning, the evidence is quite to the contrary. For decades the prevailing thinking in neuroscience was that the adult human brain was essentially immutable, hardwired, fixed in form and function, so that by adulthood we were pretty much stuck with what we had. But with new research has come the realization that the adult brain retains impressive powers of ‘neuroplasticity’ – the ability to change structure and function in response to experience. This, coupled with Boomers thirst for new knowledge and skills, has created a growing popularity for lifelong learning. In fact, the number of college students ages 40 to 64 has jumped by almost 20% to nearly 2 million in the past decade. And those numbers are expected to keep growing as more and more mid-life adults return to school to reinvent themselves, once again.
In an AARP study published in July 2000, 9 out of 10 adults ages 50 and over said they wanted to actively seek out learning opportunities to keep current, grow personally and enjoy the simple pleasure of mastering something new. Research also continues to highlight the importance of lifelong learning as a prescription for a longer, healthier life — keeping minds active and people socially connected and engaged. And while the old-fashioned ways of learning something new — reading a book or taking a class at a local college — are still popular, many mid-life adults are also embracing online education and other new technologies. Today, mid-life adults who graduated from college 30+ years ago are returning to take classes in everything from Italian to modern film, from mastering investing to creating a Web page, to traveling the world. As mid-life adults return to their studies, learning institutions are accommodating them with flexible schedules, satellite campuses, online courses and the like. Mid-life adults are teaching the world that you CAN teach “an old dog new tricks!”
As stewards of lifelong learning, libraries are well positioned to become cornerstone institutions for mid-life adults, productive aging, and the life of the mind IF they can also appeal to them with new, intriguing and flexible approaches to learning.
So put that old mustang back in the garage and plug into the future.
Parts of this article are referenced from Transforming Life After Fifty
“The healots are coming! The healots are coming!” So said Walter Brennan in Frank Capra’s wonderful movie John Doe with Gary Cooper and my very favorite actress Barbara Stanwyck. In it Cooper plays a ballplayer-turned-hobo , who’ll do anything for three squares and a place to sleep. When newspaper publisher D.B. Norton (Edward Arnold), a fascistic type with presidential aspirations, decides to use Doe (Cooper) as his ticket to the White House, he puts Doe on the radio to deliver inspirational speeches to the masses — ghost-written by Mitchell (Stanwyck), who, it is implied, has become the publisher’s mistress. So when Brennan, who is Cooper’s hobo traveling partner talks about healots he’s talking about Norton and their followers, warning Cooper that he is now part of the corruption.
Ok so what has that got to do with those who would rail against technology taking over our lives, corrupting our souls and burning our brain cells up at a rapid rate? Here’s the take away. If you truly are against progress especially regarding electronic devices then throw away your cell phone and your computer and move out into the woods. Going backwards is not going to make our quality of life better, it’s more about monitoring your usage of abuses of technology. Every now and then step away from the devices and take a walk. gain some balance.
But what about the children?…they will never know what it’s like to hike and fish and smell the wafting smell of azaleas. Horse pucky as one of my teachers used to say. Our kids are smarter, better educated and move at faster rates then we do so they can do more than we ever did. That means they do both and are adept at each. They time manage better than we did because they have to. It’s progress baby! So you can rail against technology and look like the character in the cartoon above or you can pick up the cell phone and see who’s on the line!
The artwork above was assigned to me as a challenge. I wanted to be able to do licensed artwork and faithfully copy someone else’s artwork. I enjoyed the experience and learned a lot from the experience but I was not chosen to work on this project in the end.
I found the article below and I highly endorse it. I could not (obviously) put it better myself. But I’ll add that to be creative and venture forth you have to be bold and self-assured. Those who are can inspire the rest and lift their spirits. Challenge yourself to be more, not a lot but a little and step by step you can attain great heights!
All creativity is based on quantum leaps and uncertainty. At particular moments in time, truly novel ideas emanate from the collective bed of information. These ideas did not originate in the fortunate individual, but in the collective consciousness.This is why significant scientific discoveries are often made by two or more different people at the same time. The ideas are already circulating in the collective unconscious, and prepared minds are ready to translate that information.
This is the nature of genius, to be able to grasp the knowable even when no one else recognizes that it is present. At any given moment, the innovation or creative idea doesn’t exist, and in the next moment, it is part of our conscious world.
In between, where was it? It came from the virtual domain, at the level of the universal spirit, where everything is potential. Sometimes this potential creates something novel, but in this realm all possibilities already exist.
So, if our bodies are recycled earth, our emotions are recycled energy, and our thoughts are recycled information, what is it that makes you an individual? How about your personality?
Well, the personality doesn’t originate with us, either. Personality gets created through selective identification with situations and through relationships. What we call personality is built on a foundation of relationships and situations.
According to many of the great spiritual traditions, one of the great truths is that “I am the other.” Without the other, we would not exist. Your soul is the reflection of all souls.
Adapted from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press).