We grow old. Then what? What next?

I came across the “encore” career of former technology CEO David Campbell on dailygood.org. It pointed me to encore.org, their tagline: “Second acts for the greater good.” YES. This is what I’ve been searching for, a site that showcases people who, having reached the peak of their skills and experience, then give themselves over to helping the world in whatever way they personally are meant to do. This way of “growing older” goes way beyond the more narcissistic, “aren’t I great?” attitudes of those who would keep running, or do yoga, or learn to play music when old, as exemplified here:

These 14 Portraits of Senior Citizens Prove that You Can Have Fun at Any Age

Not that there’s anything “wrong” with having fun at an advanced age. Just that this kind of “happiness” is certainly not what I, or many others like me (I’m nearly 72) are doing. We are giving of ourselves in service. Each one in the way that best suits the incredible fullness we’ve developed during our long lives.

David Campbell exemplifies this selfless attitude that paradoxically, generates enormous internal happiness.

Not that all of us have to do something this grand! Just begin, where you are, with the next small thing that moves you into action, even if — especially if — you’ve never done it before. What is it? Do that. Your first action will entice you, like a trail of bread crumbs, to the next action that moves you, and the next. Sooner or later, you’ll be looking back, shaking your head, amazed at how your life, and the lives of those around you, have morphed, due to your capacity for taking the risks to which you are entitled, as a beautiful human being, upon this glorious Earth.

 

 

 

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