As an active senior citizen in my late 70’s, I find our age groups’ expressions of our experiences to be invaluable in the telling of history. Through this autoethnographic essay, an introduction to my ongoing column, I aim to establish a new understanding and appreciation for the value of our recounts and our place in society as rich storytellers. Long gone are the days of shuffling Granny off to the old age home to play bridge and eat soft meals. The New Age Sage, or as I coined the phrase to describe us, “Saxion,” or Seniors in Action, we are enthused to share our recounts of the times we have lived through a mind, body and voice of wisdom.
The New Age Sage
How will the events and occurrences of our times go down in history? What will be the markers that define our world, our country, our people, and our communities when we discuss them in the future? Rage, riot, terrorism, political corruption, corporate greed, religious and institutional malfunctions? Let us not forget a pandemic, food insecurity, evictions, job loss and a myriad of additional issues we can’t deny. Perhaps, or for sure, the caste system that exists in many countries (some by birth and some by color) also exists in America. Here in The USA, the systems not only manifest labels by color and birthrights but furthermore identifies through a wealth of other factors including sexuality, opinions, age, events and beyond.
So, as a New Age Sage or “Saxion”, it’s important to understand that to move things forward I must accept a challenge – to reinvent myself as part of our 65+ age group and pivot radically from the self-accepted and culturally-imposed roles of sedentary storytellers simply shuffling forward, recounting the past.
We Saxions are the elders of an age of rapid progression and have experienced it all, from the milkman to DoorDash. Today is an opportunity to redefine our roles as wisdom keepers. In our recounting and sharing, we must honor the past including the pitfalls and triumphs of humanity, however we can do so by stepping on the court with enthusiasm rather than sitting in a rocking chair on the sidelines. We seniors of today, who have actually seen the most change, can play a monumental role in the process of defining history with inspiration when we unleash our collective creativity and become active participants in crafting the future.
We and we alone, and by we I refer to the human race, can no longer hide behind lack of knowledge, lack of awareness, lack of willingness to hold ourselves accountable to participate in global oneness, which is affected by the way we recount history. Technology is the tool that has removed the darkness, the secrets, the silence, and the lies. The coverups of the previous generations can no longer exist since the cell phone is the exposure of every deed good and bad. Snap, snap snap, no words to be distorted, no misinformation to be spread, just a camera held high collectively, capturing what is focused on truth.
So what have we Saxions got to contribute?
Yes, I have a body worn by time, restrictions due to the pandemic, media and advertising that reminds me how much I need the latest fix, the newest age-defying drugs and products to keep me fully functional until put out to pasture. Do I have to buy into the cultural beliefs of our society that we Saxions are of little value once retired? Our own egos have been schooled to believe that our greatest asset, WISDOM, is for reflection, storytelling and suggestive guidance for the generation following ours.
It’s time to step up to the plate and redefine wisdom ourselves. Wisdom is no longer shared reflections; it’s Action. Let’s coin the word SAXION (Sages in action!)! Let’s tap into our brains and rattle the cage of creativity. Let’s use this forum to create great synergy, positivity and solutions. Let’s put the past historical injustices on hold (on hold does not mean buried- it simply means on hold), because if we don’t, we water down this pivotal moment of cultural change.
If we simply carry our past into the future, we create the future through past emotions including anger, frustration, vengeance and justification. When we create from deep within our souls and guided by light, faith and trust, we Saxions can lay the foundation for making the whole wide world great again. Let’s plant the first seeds here. Won’t you join me?