• 5241 Finchley Lane
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • 23455
  • (757) 636-1775
PUBLIC PROFILE

Redesigning Life and Aging Purposefully

Posted by Thomas Edwards on December 12, 2019 1:45 PM EST
Thomas  Edwards photo

I was delighted to read the Opinions section of The Washington Post Weekly  this past Sunday, December 8, 2019 about the research done by the Stanford Center on Longevity.....

...and it's findings and recommendations for helping our sociey craft a new way to think and build our culture around the positive phenomenon of the last century of American average life expectancies increasing by thirty years.  The article was written by Laura L. Christensen, a professor of psychology and director of the Stanford Center of Longevity, so there is more than a little credibility in her article.  (The article was titled "We need a major redesign of life").

After reading the article a couple of times, I have to admit that I found her concept of imagining a life redesign driven by a wholesale change in critical social systems and in cultural redefinition of lives well-lived as interesting and worth sharing with others. Ergo, I'm sharing the key excerpts from a rather lengthy article with you in today's blog post.  

So, here are the key excerpts that define the concept:

"Thirty years were added to average life expectancy in the 20th century, and rather than imagine the scores of ways we could use these years to improve quality of life, we tacked them on all on at the end.  Only old age got longer."

"In my view, the tension surrounding aging is due largely to the speed with which life expectancy increased."

"Long lives are not the problem.  The problem is living in cultures designed for lives half as long as the ones we have."

"How do traditional models of education, work, lifestyles, social relationships, financial planning, health care, early childhood and intergenerational compacts need to change to support long lives?"

"...there should be many routes.  Interweaving leisure, work, education and family throughout life, takikng people from birth to death with places to stop, rest, change courses and repeat steps along the way.  Old age alone wouldn't last longer; rather, youth and middle age would expand, too."

"Work, too, must change.  There's every reason to expect ore zigzagging in and out of the labor force-especially by employees who are caring for young children or elderly parents-and more participation by workers over 60.  There is good reason to think we will work longer, but we can improve work quality with shorter workweeks, flexible scheduling and frequent "retirements"."

"Maintaining physical fitness from the beginning to the end of life will be parmount."

"Longer lives present us with an opportunity to redesign the way we live.  The greatest risk of failure is setting the bar too low."

While this series of excerpts from the article seem theoretical and somewhat futuristic, the facts are what they are.  And rethinking and innovating around the key elements that change yet are critical at every stage of life and preparing for longer lives in advance is much like the fable of the grasshopper and the ant.  Getting started way ahead of time is the best path for living a long life well.  And for those of us already at an advanced age....well think like an optimist...we get a shot at setting the baseline for working longer, and creating a robust life even without the big headstart our kids and their kids have :).

There are no comments

Sign in to add your comment.

Recent Posts

Innovation and Newspapers as Socio-economic Platforms
I was recently asked if there is a great benefit to my role as a healthy living advocate for...
read more
Father's Day 2020: A Clearer Vision Into the Joys of Fatherhood
For more than three decades I have had the great honor to be a father. And these years have been...
read more
An Experienced Health Insurance Executive's Theory on Recent Riots
Recently, I had an opportunity to participate in a most enlightening and interesting text message...
read more
Seeing What's Next
The last three months of heart-breaking issues, battling COVID-19, social distancing, economic...
read more
Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Dealing with the Impact of COVID-19
While it is true that all innovations aren't necessarily created by entrepreneurs and all...
read more
Memorial Day 2020: Thoughts and Thanks for Our Fallen Military Heroes
Each year on Memorial Day we take time to give thanks for our freedoms that are secured by a strong...
read more
The Tyranny of the OR vs. The Power of the AND
Among researcher and author Jim Collins' many books is the very popular one and the first in his...
read more
COVID-19: Pre-Memorial Day Thoughts
As we near a favorite Federal holiday for many people, and continue to deal with the COVID-19...
read more
Healthy Tribute to Mothers Who CARE
On this Mother's Day, I wanted to post a very short, but sincere, tribute to the many mothers across...
read more
Acronyms and Metaphors: Tools for Communicating Innovation
Innovation has been a central focus for our group since the group's inception over five years ago....
read more

Go to blog