According to Gay Luce, author of Longer Life, More Joy, elderhood is a time to discover inner richness for self-development and spiritual growth. Elderhood is also a time of transition and preparation for dying, which is at least as important as preparation for a career and family.
Many of us in this culture, and I include myself, fear that even thinking about death will somehow bring it's certainty closer and hasten the inevitable. So we ignore it or pretend that we will live forever. However, I think this only acts to minimize our opportunities in the second half.
When we come to terms with our mortality we start to look at the moment with open eyes and maybe a sense of fearlessness or increased urgency. Maybe even a profound sense of gratitude for our lives. In fact, maybe if we lose our fear of dying we can also lose our fear of living. And in doing so will live more intentionally and authentically with integrity, compassion and acceptance of each precious moment we get.
Individuals who chose to age intentionally refuse to follow the well-worn aging path. Instead they create their own new path that leads them to exciting and fulfilling possibilities that include developing their full human and spiritual potential in the second half.
Imagine a world where elders were actually supported and encouraged to do this kind of personal development. Now imagine what a gift these individuals could be to society and the world!