Nowadays people live longer and healthier lives than ever before. That’s the trend. The incoming LONGEVITY trend brings opportunities, challenges and responsibilities for all of us, as for governments and every institution and organization around the world
A mayor demographic transition is taking place. Here I have depicted the transformation that is taking place in human population. The first drawing shows a population pyramid from around 100 years ago. Historically, reaching old age was exceptional. The rule was many children and very few elders, that begun to change little by little. At the verge of the nineteenth century life expectancy at birth was around 40 years. At the verge of the twentieth century it rose to around 50, and at the verge of the third millennia it reached 77. In the meantime, the differences between countries and inside countries also grew. Relevant source for information on this issue are the United Nations Population Division reports.
The fact is that the population pyramid is not a pyramid anymore, and the tendency is worldwide. The emerging population landscape implies mayor adjustments in every field of action. A huge challenge! A wonderful one! Lifelong learning and earning is a key to it.
We are transitioning into a new era. Changes are fast, but more than that, they are profound. We are moving into a knowledge based society and that will bring mayor changes, because of the nature of knowledge itself. Be it conceptual or practical, we derive knowledge from experiences, culture, or education, by perceiving, discovering, reflecting and learning. While it is intangible it shapes our world. Closely related to values and beliefs, it is informative and formative and never fixed since new knowledge transforms and expands knowledge. This is the main reason why learning became a lifelong endeavor.
When it comes to earning, nowadays its meaning is highly linked to the pay for services and return for investments. Etymologically the word earning derives from words that represent harvest in old English and old German, and it also has roots in Gothic, representing summer, and old Prussian, representing autumn. Its original meanings are linked to labor, merit, and rewards for what one has done and experienced, in which building confidence and reputation in one’s social environments is included. With no doubt, the entire spectrum of the word earning has a role to play in a multigenerational inclusive society.
Definitely, it is time to enrich our perspectives recreating values and beliefs, expanding awareness, consciousness and knowledge. We have to bring the earnings that will allow us to celebrate life, locally and globally, and even beyond the planetary boundaries, since we already are exploring extra-terrestrial grounds.
For inspiration, here an excerpt of a well-known poem credited to Hopi Chief Dan Evehema who passed away in 1999 at the age of 108.
This could be a good time!
There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift, that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold on to the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore,
push off into the middle of the river,
keep our eyes open,
and our heads above the water.
See who is in there with you and celebrate.
Banish the word “struggle” from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we have been waiting for!
Hopi Chief Dan Evehema
Are we? Are you ready to embrace lifelong learning and earning, and the amazing possibilities that come with it?