Recently I saw a CBS story about the strange mystery of the bees. It seems that we have another ‘horrible’ to add to the growing list of threats to life as we know it. The facts are that a lot of honeybees are disappearing in what is being called the “Colony Collapse Syndrome”. I have no idea what this means from a biological point of view, and I gather the phenomenon of billions of bees disappearing has the scientists stumped as well. But whatever the cause, a lot of folks are getting

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The Culture of Aging

People sometimes ask me what I mean by ‘the culture of aging’. I can start by explaining what I mean by ‘culture’.

Culture is, first of all, a word. And, like all words, it is a label for some phenomenon, some observable thing or idea. Culture is a concept and a very basic aspect of who we are. It contributes to how we relate to the world and, most of the time, constitutes an opening for our actions. It is a context for our human experience and occurs as a kind of non-stop conversation

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Relationships…with a Difference

This post was contributed by Shae Hadden.

I find myself wondering why we let a difference in our ages limit how we relate to each other in our personal relationships. I’m not speaking of the obvious social taboos like pedophilia and infantophilia. It’s the relationships between consenting adults that have me pondering. Why are different arrangements acceptable in different cultures and societies? Why is what is considered perverse in one accepted in another? Why is the most common pattern of heterosexual relationships still a slightly older man with a younger woman? Why is it that age disparity is less of an issue the older the partners involved are?

Psychologists have developed a host of terms to describe age-disparate relationships such as gerontophilia (attraction of non-elderly people to the elderly), teleiophilia (attraction of young people to the elderly) and the more general chronophilia (for any age-related preference). These terms make intergenerational relationships sound like a disease. They even assign ‘causes’ in the form of reasons for the attraction—usually from financial and social

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Social Responsibility – Alive and Well

I just spent an interesting week at a country house outside of Barcelona—read that as a 400-year-old remodeled hacienda retreat with world-class chef included. The week was wonderful, fun and very productive. Let me explain.

I was invited to facilitate a meeting of the top team of a major multinational corporation who were working to create their vision and plans for the next few years. These six executives are from four different countries and are tops in their industry. Collectively their

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Poetic Memory

By Stu Whitley

I’ve been thinking lately about the poetry I write; the poetry I write for you
while joyful, is more than chirrup (I hope), with only a touch of elegy
more, it tries to plumb the mystery of apperception, and
the discernment of the uncommon qualities in the common things
that mark our quotidian ways: an arm-linked walk
a mug of hot tea at day’s end—these are the liturgies that shore
what always needs reinforcing; love cannot survive unilaterally

what stays in the mind’s

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Aging as Process

Aging brings with it a host of changes: physiological, mental and social. If we advocate the popular belief that our minds are separate from our bodies, this process of change can be objectively assessed as a story of decline originating in either sphere. Seen this way, the health of our body limits what we can accomplish in later life by dictating what we are physically able to do; similarly, declining mental health, as a symptom of aging, can bar us from making a meaningful contribution.


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By Shae Hadden

Expectations are basic to who we are. From the time we are born, we live in a relationship with the future based on our experience of the past and the interpretations of reality that we learn from our culture and history. We learn from our parents to live up to our expectations. We organize our actions based on them and, more often than not, they become self-fulfilling. When something unexpected occurs, we feel fortunate if it is good and upset if it is bad. Our moods are always correlated to our expectations. And as we grow older, most of us expect to ‘slow down’, experience declining health, need to change our lifestyle and perhaps to give up many of the things we’ve enjoyed most in our lives. The general expectation of old age is one of decline.

I were to have a child (a hypothetical choice at this point in my life,
as I am long past my child-bearing years), I would not be able to bring
them up without teaching them what to expect in the future. For from
the first time they cry and I respond, I would begin a pattern of
stimulus-and-response behavior that would create an expectation. If I
can perceive that my child is hungry, I would feed them: wet, I would
change them. In need

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Resisting Love

By Shae Hadden

  • Resistance causes persistence.
  • You get what you resist.
  • Practice non-resistance.

these axioms seem appropriate when speaking of violence, acts of
aggression, conflict, long-standing issues of hate and fear. But why
would we resist the ‘good’ things in life like friendship, support,
trust, attraction and love?

Time and time again I find myself
turning away from what I most want as if it is a poisonous substance
harmful to my health. I live alone now and often feel an overwhelming
need for intimacy, fun and laughter. I look at

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So what have you learned in the last 30 years?

I gave a speech in Buenos Aires last week and was asked to share with folks my ‘bottom line’ on what I have learned coaching people over the past 30 years. Here was the list off the top of my head. On re-reading it, I think this is pretty much the whole story for me. What is your list? Please send it along as a comment.

  • Life is choices. At the end, your life story is just a record of the choices we made.
  • Choices are commitments—not decisions. Gravity doesn’t care why you jumped.
  • Moods are excuses for being less than we are. They blind us to reality and keep us coping with circumstances and whatever else we think is causing our moods.
  • We create our own reality. Life is pretty much what we say it is.
  • Intentions and vision are the same. They are where we come from, the context for whatever it is we are doing.
  • If you want to know what you intend, look at your results. The alternative is to deny our power and responsibility.
  • Possibilities aren’t real—they are created. If they were real, they would be examples.
  • We always get what we resist. Both proponents and opponents of change are frequently pushing in the same direction.
  • Control always produces what we don’t want. It’s the opposite of surrender and generally is grounded in the belief that we are choosing (when in fact, we are just resisting).
  • Clever self-serving people always lose in the end. This is more a matter of faith than actual learning. There are still a lot of slimy scumbags who look like they are ahead for the moment.
  • The best strategy for success is having a sense of humor, acceptance, gratitude and praying for humility.
  • The essence of leadership (and coaching) is love. It’s all about giving people space to be the way they are, as well as space to change.
  • Love is a choice. Therefore, love is a commitment (maybe ‘the’ commitment).

And finally, the list would not be complete without adding that I have learned that no matter how much I have learned, I am still a beginner and there is at least this much

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