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Engaged Older Adults

This page is dedicated to every senior who is embracing this new and wonderful place that many of us find ourselves today.  We can try to fight the calendar or find new and innovative ways to embrace our lives.  We will add to Engaged Seniors as we find people who we feel embrace this way of living, but please let us know of someone you feel is in this category.  We may even interview them by video conferencing and record it for everyone to see.

 

mcb

Mary speaks at TED Talks

 Mary Catherine Bateson is a writer and cultural anthropologist living in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire with frequent visits to Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has written and co-authored many books and articles, lectures across the country and abroad, and has taught at Harvard, Northeastern University, Amherst College, Spelman College and abroad in the Philippines and in Iran.

 

 

 

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George Wolf,  “From Fleeing the Holocaust to Helping Survivors”

George

At an early age I learned how focusing on one’s own position in life, status and property can have devastating consequences. I would not be here today if my very courageous and astute father had not managed to get himself, my mother and me out of the Czech Republic after the Nazis had occupied it. We dropped everything, including a very comfortable home, business and lifestyle.

Regrettably the rest of my large family did not or could not follow his example and paid for it with their lives.

I left Europe for the United States at age 19 to start a new life. In my 20’s I became a businessman and entrepreneur, building a comfortable life of my own over the next several decades. At age 66, I started a small apparel manufacturing venture, intending it to be my “working retirement,” but 13 years later that domestic industry literally disappeared.

It took a while to find a new direction for my energy and imagination. In my 80s, I felt I had become unemployable, which left me depressed. I attended an event in New York sponsored by Encore.org’s publisher, Civic Adventures. There I heard from winners of the organization’s Purpose Prize – inspiring people over 60 who are helping others all over the world have better lives.

Encore.org’s examples of successful second careers, especially those of Purpose Prize winners, can be in fields far removed from your own experience or interests. They can be intimidating, or inspiring, depending upon your attitude.

For those whose professional lives are in nonprofits, the change to an encore career may mean transiting to a profitable endeavor – albeit a socially responsible one – which can be scary. For those whose lives were primarily in business, as was mine, the switch to the nonprofit sector can be a revelation, associating with people who are not after monetary rewards, but whose aim in life is to help others.

The idea of career change in late life is not for everyone, not easily comprehended and accepted, let alone implemented.

You need not have graduated in economics from Harvard; you could simply have graduated from the “school of hard knocks.” Nor do you need to be religious or politically involved to have compassion for those less fortunate. But you need to be aware of all or most of society’s problems, and have the courage and wisdom to decide whether to take action – or what kind to take.

For nearly four years, I have been a member of ReServe Inc., a New York nonprofit that pairs qualified retirees seeking meaningful and challenging activities,

 at a modest hourly stipend, with nonprofit organizations seeking help from professionals whom they could otherwise not afford. ReServe, founded by Pulitzer Prize winner Jack Rosenthal and Purpose Prize winner Hurb Sturzis now expanding its terrific idea to other major cities in the nation.

Through ReServe I became the marketing director of The Blue Card a small Jewish charity that supports destitute Holocaust survivors. Given my experience fleeing from the Nazis, I have a unique connection to the people the organization serves. My main task has been developing new ways to raise significant funds (including organizing charity marathon teams), a field I had previously known nothing about.

In my mid-80’s, I am on a challenging career path, one that can lead to untold new adventures.

George was interviewed for the Whisky and Apple documentary.

George Wolf is embarking on what he calls a “a second `second'” career, coaching others on how to make significant decisions in their own lives.

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 PBS Documentary!

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Are mature entrepreneurs on the rise? Economics correspondent Paul Solman talks to older workers who decided to pursue their own business dreams later in life.  PBS aired this video, it is excellent.  Click here to view.