“A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.” These thoughts from D. Elton Trueblood – noted college chaplin and philosopher – epitomize the actions of today’s New Seniors.
Those of us born between 1930 and 1945, once known as pre-boomers and now the core of the New Seniors movement, grew up learning and understanding this kind of philosophy. It was laid out to us as the way to live life. Our parents and other family members showed us how this worked. School teachers, the clergy, scout masters and a host of personal role models taught us about the value of this kind of service. Now it’s our turn to pass it on.
Boomers start turning 65 next year at the rate of one every ten seconds, and this will continue through 2030. As they join the ranks of the New Seniors, about 4 million of them will turn 65 each year for the next 19 years, uncharted territory will be forged. Because never having been 65 before opens up an entirely new experience for the boomer generation. Where do they get the insight and advice to help make this transition as smooth as possible? They’ll look to the people who have successfully moved on to this phase of life, those who are already New Seniors.
Don’t expect to see New Seniors lecturing to the recent batch joining them. Rather current New Seniors will continue to do what they’ve been doing. The newer folks can learn by watching what we do and pitching in when and where they can. Sorta like on-the-job training when we were new to the workforce, although nothing formal. All it takes is to connect with New Seniors and join them in being of service.
The whole idea is to make this country the best possible place we can for trailing generations, particularly our grand children and great grand children. We’ve been through the trials and tribulations of life of the business years or soon will be. So our efforts are not money oriented. Instead we are trying to make a difference by improving the quality of life in small, sometimes hardly noticeable, increments. This is not for us but for others: family, friends, neighbors and the well-being of the country.
For instance, the New Seniors’ presence is important in mentoring kids, helping people gain new job skills or volunteering to be of service to those in nursing homes and other facilities. We have the know-how and the time to make a difference. More of us are inspired to give back what was so freely given to us, so we are getting involved.
Are you satisfied with what’s going on? Do you fear the American dream is being compromised? Is helping someone besides yourself of interest to you? If you’re not already stepping up to the challenges that we all face, there’s no better time to join other New Seniors to plant those shade trees for future generations.