As seniors, most of us have seen many lifestyle changes during our own lifetime.
It’s interesting to note that as seniors, we are living in a totally different world environment than we did when we were younger. We are also living a totally different lifestyle than our parents lived. My parents came of age in the 1920s and 1930s. I was born in 1940. They went through what was known as the Gilded Age filled with prosperity and plenty, to the depression where my Grandfather traded his dental services for chickens so his family could eat. Most of us went from the post World War II era of austerity to the massive shift in prosperity and stability of the Eisenhower years, and then through the instability of the 1960s and early 1970s when we experienced many changes in attitudes and worldviews.
Our youth are going through another major lifestyle shift and we are riding the wave along with them. Changes in technology are exponential. Major changes in the workplace are occurring that most of us are only beginning to understand. The industrial revolution that fueled the prosperity of the past has shifted to other areas of the world and the “grow up, go to college, get a lifetime job, and retire on your 401K” attitude has nearly passed.
In one way, this gives older adults a huge advantage. It gives us an advantage based on our experiences in life that younger people haven’t gone through yet. The industrial age has ended and the age of new and constantly changing technology and opportunity is here. Our kids, and now our grandkids, are being brought up with an entirely different database of knowledge, ideas and opinions.
Some see change like this as disruptive and bad. The job market has changed right under our noses and we are not even noticing it. We have gone from an era of basic jobs for life to more of a “project based” entrepreneurial style job market. People change jobs and change fields several times during their adult lives. Personally, I think this is a better way
For seniors, a lot of this can be uncomfortable. But let’s reframe it. Our kids have more opportunities to create and thrive in the world than at any other time in history — if they recognize and take advantage of the opportunities. If they think in terms of the old style economy, they will have real challenges. Most young people will have to create their own job market through innovation and independent thinking rather than just fall into an already created market. Since many of the major Corporations are moving overseas, due in part to Government policies and taxation, the field is wide open for individual innovation and opportunity.
This gives seniors a HUGE advantage. We can be the leaders and the teachers. Sure, our grandkids may have to teach us how to use our smartphones, but we have so much accumulated experience of life, that all of us have knowledge others would pay to learn. Seniors don’t have to retire, we can create an entirely new industry of our own. What a great opportunity.
So rather than sit back and talk about how the world is passing us by, we can be part of a new trend in active living through sharing and teaching our own experiences and knowledge. And the more we participate in the world, the longer we will be useful to others and to ourselves.
Just a few random thoughts. Thank you for reading.