What an empowering title for a book! Who wouldn’t want to be ‘sage-ing’ as we age? Zalman Schachter-Salomi and Ronald S. Miller, rabbi, and writer respectively, introduce us to the rich concept or eldering, or sage-ing. We live at a time in Western society, in which as we age, we are labelled ‘elderly’ with all the negative deficit-based connotations of the term. With that label, attends nursing homes, marginalisation, and uselessness. This wonderful book reframes the conversation by substituting ‘elder’ and ‘eldering’ together with a host of exciting and enriching possibilities for continuing, indeed amplifying the contribution of people over their entire lifetime.
Simply aging, growing older, in itself does not guarantee a person becomes a ‘sage.’ This book generously offers exercises to train oneself to become a sage which anyone of any affiliation may practice with simply a journal and a pen (or electronic equivalents). The additional time which stretches before an older person who has moved beyond the outward arc of life’s exigences, is a time which can be spent productively and individualistically engaging in life completion tasks such as:
Combined with this introspection, the elder may also take on the additional public mantel of stewardship of the community and the environment, to use their wisdom to influence the survival of our ailing planet, Earth.
The work we do with you at my manifesto, in this context as an ‘elder in training’ would assist you while you undertake your introspection of your life, to harvest what really matters to you, as you scan a long-lived experience. It is an opportunity to revisit the triumphs and the follies and to extract the wisdom from each that allows you to celebrate and learn what you now know.