The Awareness of Our Elders:
Building Assets of Inestimable Worth
There are certain characteristics of the retirement years that cause us to want to highlight our elders as a source of untapped wealth for the mainstream body of society. First, they tend to have developed a gradual disinterest in the dog-eat-dog “either I win, or you win” hyper-competitiveness that enflames so much of the modern social and political scene. And, then, with the great mass of pressing responsibilities having passed from their hands into the hands of their sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, the virtue of simplicity tends to shine more brightly in their hearts and minds. These two characteristics within minds that have genuinely achieved maturity predicate an outstandingly rich opportunity for the contemplative exploration and expression of the infinite creative principle of Life which has formed each and all of us, and which is the source, not only, of all of our civilized ideals, but also of the most trustworthy and inspired guidance that decision-makers today might hope for. This applies to the decisions that need to be taken in personal and family dimensions just as legitimately as it applies to decisions at the level of planetary inter-cultural interfaces.
There already are a significant number of yoga programs being offered for the obvious benefit to the physical health and well-being of oldsters in our society today. However, I believe there is less emphasis upon the culturing of the contemplative perspectives that could produce outstanding benefit to both the elders themselves, and even, emphatically, for the cultural matrix as a whole. Instead of indulging these richly experienced minds with chess, canasta, shuffleboard, and endless TV or DVD’s, we ought to recognize the fecund potential for support of the core principles of civilized culture that innately resides within the minds, hearts, and souls of the elder segment of our population.
When the core principles within a given culture are strong, there is an immanent sense of harmony connecting the diverse expressions of the society. When the core principles are weak, there is a pervasive sense of self-interested, divisive struggle, with correspondingly high rates of domestic abuse, drunkenness and drug abuse, inter-group conflict, crime, and so on. It does not require inspired insight to observe that the disturbing traits of the latter condition are clearly in evidence within our world today. The intensely engaged masses compete and strive with a purposefulness that seldom recalls the personal identity back to the Unity wherein abide our core principles, those changelessly inspired Laws from which the vibrant ideologies that guided the progenitors of each major phase of human progress emerged. The one segment of our culture that might find sufficient personal time to effectively contemplate the eternal ideals, or core principles, is the elder segment. It would be both wise and profitable to provide the necessary resources, and allow them to engage this challenge energetically.