a tweeter friend recently asked to interview me for his psych class. my understanding: interview a middle-aged person supposedly in the psychosocial stage of generativity vs stagnation:
at first i didnt know if i should be flattered, as i remembered this stage to be for senior citizens. but as shown above, it starts from age 25. so even pc is already in this stage. hehe
Stage 7: Generativity vs Stagnation 25-64
-if you have a strong sense of creativity, success, and of having "made a mark" you develop generativity, and are concerned with the next generation; the virtue is called care, and represents connection to generations to come, and a love given without expectations of a specific return
-adults that do not feel this develop a sense of stagnation, are self-absorbed, feel little connection to others, and generally offer little to society; too much stagnation can lead to rejectivity and a failure to feel any sense of meaning (the unresolved mid-life crises), and too much generativity leads to overextension (someone who has no time for themselves because they are so busy)
the interview was comprehensive: physical, emotional changes ive undergone. my childhood as context. my perceptions of aging. i was very spontaneous, answering off the cuff as he fired away his questions. but now that im here at home, ive had the chance to ponder on some questions and thought of expanding, or clarifying my answers. so here are my shamcey supsup answers.
was there a time you wanted to go back to your youth?
i initially answered no. i dont recall wishing i was back in an earlier time of my life. and i still believe that. life just keeps on getting better, despite some obvious limitations that age presents. physically, the crows feet around my eyes are noticeable. and i cannot lift the same weights as i used to. which means i cannot increase my muscle mass anymore. but im at my leanest form in my adult life, ever. and i still feel attractive. actually, maybe even more attractive. so i dont look at the mirror now and wish i had a younger face or body. i just keep on accomplishing more and more. i continue to be challenged. and i want to deliver every time. and i can never trade the wisdom i have gained through all these years for youthful exuberance.
any advice to young people about aging?
don't fear it. embrace it as a part of yourself. even as you glory in your youth, know that everything changes. and to hang on to such things will only bring despair. i've never lied about my age. maybe because i feel accomplished. but also because i really value wisdom. this was the only thing i asked for from Him, as i took on bigger responsibilities in my career. i asked for wisdom to manage my company and my own affairs right. and i know that only growing up and growing old would bring me that.
i hold senior citizen's in high regard because of this. years of living have taught them valuable lessons books can never impart. you can be an intelligent, learned youth but wisdom will come with age.
how are you expressing your 'generativity'? how are you 'taking care' or 'looking out for the next generation'?
it definitely didn't happen that i consciously planned to be mindful of the next generation. i believe that opportunities arise with improving financial standing. and it always starts with family. my definition of family also started to expand to include people under my direct employ. the idea of giving, of taking care of these people just happened. and honestly, i dont feel i should even be applauded. it really is just part of the job.
be open to opportunities be generous and giving. know that when they do arise, you will be ready, even if you think you are not. wasn't it the widow in the temple who have from the little that she had but was more justified? im so far from that ideal.
and it's not all about money. time and effort, they mean a lot to people to. i was touched when interviewer mentioned that blogging and fabcasting constitute other ways i 'care' for the next generation. i guess these are. and again, i am not to be congratulated. im just doing my job. and you will, too, when the time comes.
thank you, interviewer/tweeter friend, for the opportunity to share. i learned as much from this as, even perhaps more, than you.