Wise old voices

tnh-gongAs I get older – I hit 50 in May this year – I’ve been much more inclined to turn towards older people as a source of inspiration.

50 is an interesting place to be – you feel mature – yet live in hope that you are blessed enough to still have many years ahead.

I feel easier in my skin than I’ve ever done, and am less inclined to be put in box about what I believe, who I associate with and from whom I look to inform my worldview.

Although I still am stubbornly orientated MUCH more towards looking forward to the future than looking back to the past, I have increasingly turned to older voices to guide my way to that future.

So, in purely alphabetical order, here are a few voices that have been whispering in my ears…

  • Alice Walker – scraping in at a mere 69 years, Alice Walker is most famous, I guess for the Pulizter Prize winning novel, The Color Purple. Alice’s life & work is so much more than that one piece, and has all kinds of important things to say about words, race, activism, women’s role in society…the list goes on.I’ve resolved to watch this movie as soon as I’m able

  • Jacque Fresco – is a good deal older, as at the time of writing has reached the age of 96. I don’t agree with great chunks of what he says, but I am impressed with his energy and intellectual alertness. Jacque has a very particular view of the future, and a broad background in structural & architectural design, cybernetics, energy efficiency and holds strong views about socio economics
  • Jimmy Carter – stands as representative in this list of elder voices as one of “The Elders”, an independent group of global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007 to work for peace & human rights. Beyond that, Jimmy seems to me be an amazing example of how to forge a role in the world that continues to thrive and flourish for the benefit of others, even after having probably the biggest gig in the world when he was POTUS and I was in my teens
  • Nelson Mandela – no introduction or explanation required
  • Thích Nhất Hạnh – is a relatively new voice to me. I was drawn to him because of one of his books, whose title – Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothersintrigued me but I’m yet to actually read. (I have a “to read” list a mile long). I’m glad to have discovered this eminent and much revered Vietnamese Buddhist monk and Zen Teacher, though, and will doubtless explore some of his writing. A copy of his “Your True Home: The Everyday Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh: 365 days of practical, powerful teachings…” has already made it into Casa Laird
  • Desmond Tutu - is a long term hero – and so esteemed that his is the quote that I use in my “Who Am I?” page on this very blogWho are the wise old voices for you?HT to Shambhala Sun for the pic

     

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