Rethinking Retirement

What will you do when it's time to retire? Check out this article for some interesting thoughts on the subject!

BY: Cheryl Peterson

 

At the turn of the 20th century, the concept of retirement emerged. Like weeds in a garden, older people were being removed from the work force to accommodate the burgeoning industrial age which required the quickness and agility of the younger generation. After World War II, when soldiers returned to the United States needing jobs, those over 65-years of age were expected to move over. Retirement became an industry, and within two generations, society’s consciousness had adjusted to the indoctrination that retirement is desirable, even deserved. But the axiom, to work is to live still pulls clout and some rethinking is beneficial.

Happiness is shared with the fortunate retired people who get to travel and take up new hobbies that totally interest them. However, the 20th century invention of retirement, marketed as the American Dream, more resembles a large cache of unused wisdom and aplomb. One can’t help but recall Moses, Buddha, Paul, Mary Baker Eddy, Colonel Sanders, Billy Graham, and a host of other human beings who implemented world shaking, mind provoking, body moving ideas at ages now lumped in with senior citizens.

Senior citizens are commonly associated with meal discounts, complacent entertainment, and folks leisurely enjoying the fruits of their labor. But this picture comes attached to a heavy burden. Because the American public has so completely internalized retirement, older people fall prey to senility and disadvantages, even older people who still work have a difficult time keeping up. Many lack vision. For example, retired couples get on one another’s nerves. Retired individuals take up the job of becoming chronically unhealthy. Some act as if they are now only responsible for maintaining a status-quo.

The pressure of retirement has forced humankind to rethink its purposes and goals. Although my heart cringes when I pass by a titanic retirement facility, as a young mother, I made the goal to take our daughters and visit the facilities near our home. We sang. Our daughters played the piano. They showed their art projects or favorite rock and so on. The residents would liven up and sure enough amazing conversations would result from which we learned about history, culture, and humanity.

Continued on page 2: Late in life »

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Related Topics: Retirement, Love And Family

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