According to Stanford University’s Center on Longevity, half of today’s five-year-olds may live to 100. And by 2050, all newborns can expect to live at least that long. Doctors, educators, social scientists, and other professionals are increasingly focusing on “the new longevity” — expanding the quality of our increasingly lengthy lifetimes. This week we look at the spiritual power and possibilities of the new longevity.
“A Council of Elders”
Carolina Nieto started working for the non-profit Ashoka at the age of 62. Now she is the director of its Mexican, Central American, and Caribbean office. Just this year, she and Ashoka established a “council of elders” drawn from Spanish speakers across Latin America, hoping to tap into its members’ wisdom, patience, and spirituality.
“Grandmothers Are the Glue”
Cultural anthropologist Lynsey Farrell co-founded The Grandmother Collective to build community by connecting older women with adolescent girls. They’ve helped establish grandmother-led programming in public schools; trained grandmothers to combat the “brain drain” in rural areas; and crafted a toolkit for grandmothers who want to initiate change in their communities worldwide.
“From Role to Soul”
Dr. Connie Zweig, a retired therapist in her 70s, is the author of multiple books on spiritual wellness. She discusses why spirituality — however it may be defined — is crucial to a fulfilling old age.