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Assumptions about Old Age challenged by Benjamin Zander September 12, 2009

Posted by Ageless Dreamer Foundation in Books.
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That’s where Ageless Dreamer and The Art of Possibility naturally come together.  In his book, The Art of Possibility, Ben Zander writes about a talk he was invited to give at a Jewish home for the elderly (pg.64).  When he arrived at the rather dingy hall 10 minutes before he was to begin only one person was sitting in the fifth row of a bank of folding chairs. The woman, Sarah, chatted with him for a moment and he asked her to move up to  a seat nearer the front. Sarah declared: “I always sit here.”  Ben good-naturedly challenged her, saying, “who knows, Sarah, if you change your seat maybe something new will happen today.”

“Are you crazy? At my age?  I’m eighty-three!”  By now, Ben writes, she was standing, and, as if to prove him wrong, she actually moved, from the fifth row to the fourth. After wondering if anyone else would be coming to hear him speak the remaining chairs gradually filled and shortly after he scheduled time to begin a sizable group was ready to begin.  It turns out, Sarah was by no means the oldest; one member of the audience was 103.  The topic was “New Possibilities”. 

Ben shared some heartfelt stories  about his Father and his wonderful sense of humor. The audience laughed and sang with him “igniting the air in the once-dingy room.”  And this is where I yellow highlighted another sentence he wrote: “We challenged assumptions about old age and pointed toward some new beginnings.”   So does Ageless Dreamer.

That’s what Ageless Dreamer, since January 2006, has been working to do – challenge assumptions about old age. Encourage our oldest generation to dream out loud and remind caregivers and adult children to engage them in conversations that enhance their quality of life.  And, as author Elizabeth Coatsworth wrote when she was in her eighties, “When I dream, I am ageless.”  So am I.



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