Spirituality and Aging

- Growing old, even when that means facing physical or other changes, can help us focus on what is essential. As we age, our perspective on what has meaning is refined. When we slow down, whether because of physical changes or by choice, we often become more contemplative. We may want to share memories and stories, to forgive or be forgiven, to express gratitude, to focus on our most essential values. Older adulthood offers the opportunity to model peace. Read More
- Quakers have a testimony to equality that upholds the belief that all people are equal. As such, we may not be accustomed to calling attention to any one individual, but lifting up members can be enriching and enlightening for the community. We may need to be intentional in our efforts to acknowledge the wisdom, experience and needs of elders, but we can be inclusive in acknowledging milestones for people in any age group. Read More
- Throughout life we change, through natural developmental processes and sometimes through unexpected events that challenge us. Each person’s journey of aging is unique. But have we thought about the age-related stereotypes and divisions that exist in our community? Read More
- One of the amazing joys of growing old is to reflect on life experiences. In fact, Sophocles in writing about old age, said, “One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.” As if to say, the rays of sun finally come together in striking brilliance as a sunset. So how can this brilliance be captured for ourselves as elders and to bless the Meeting? Read More
- Assistive Devices can help people maintain self care skills and participate in their favorite activities. Communities benefit from diversity when adaptations are made to include people with physical or other disabilities. What are assistive devices and how can they help? Read More
- Despite the often negative images of aging presented to us, older adults report a much higher degree of life satisfaction and self-esteem than younger persons. In fact, older adults have very high levels of self-acceptance and contentedness. They have encountered life’s vicissitudes, its surprises and disappointments, paradoxes and mysteries enough to know that they most likely will cope with whatever the future holds. And, that coping is best done with the support of others in their community, family and friends. Read More
- Each of us needs to find ways to nurture the spirit within us, just as we feed our bodies and our minds with exercise, nutrition and cognitive stimulation. In fact it is often the spirit that perseveres when the mind and body have failed, and the spirit that lingers in the memories of those who remain. It this vein, it is important for us to acknowledge the spirit inside a person with dementia or diminished abilities. Read More
- We know that despite any number of challenges, our elders are precious. How can we come to hold our own aging in the light that we view those who came before us? Read More
- Diversity is difference. It is a natural phenomenon, intimately related to uniqueness and identity. There is a rich world of discovery awaiting us when we are ready to fully encounter our diversity. But first we have to lift our heads above the bustle around us and look at the big picture. Read More
- When people talk about wisdom, they often use sight-related words like insight, foresight, discernment, farsightedness, brilliance, reflection, illumination, enlightenment, visionary and seer. The owl, often a symbol of wisdom, has prominent eyes that see clearly in the dark, and seem to be watching everything with penetrating attention. This metaphor of seeing makes a good place to start in our exploration of wisdom. Read More
- Engaging in multigenerational conversation and activities can help carry our values and forward into the future. Quakers have a testimony on Stewardship of the Environment, and in this concern the wisdom passed between generations may be especially crucial. In your spiritual community, it is the older adults who know what once grew in the field where the strip mall now stands. If you understand where the underground springs lie, or where the lady slippers grew in the woods, chances are it was an older neighbor who passed that wisdom on. Read More
- Often Meetings are shy about contacting Friends and attenders who might be in need of some sort of support. Meeting members say, “I don’t want to intrude”, or, “They’ll call us if they need something”, or, “We don’t do that.” Actually, we should reach out, as we did historically, and, if not us, who then? Read More