Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Conference on World Affairs

Every April there is a wonderful conference at the University of Colorado called the Conference on World Affairs (this was its 60th year). It goes from Monday through Friday and is free for all attendees with a wide variety of panel discussions. Yesterday, I attended a program titled, Growing Old: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Panelist Robert Egger described how we have three options: 1. Look at the now, 2. Look at the future and do nothing, or 3. Look at the future and do something about it. One of the striking statistics he cited: in the United States we throw away 40% of the food we produce. Steve Sauer stated that too often people get wrapped up in a perspective that can be summarized as: Life’s a bitch and then you die. He described an 85-year-old who lamented that when she was young elders were revered but now she feels they’re only tolerated. Lillian Boutte stated we’re never too old to dream. Feargal Lynn said we learn from the wisdom our parents gave us, and as we age, we don’t have to keep messing with the small stuff. One suggestion from the panel was to hold Skype parties for shut-ins so they can stay socially engaged. The bottom line: as we get older we can retool ourselves and become older but not old. I can identify with this as I retired from a career in business into the fiction writing world, something completely different from what I had done for 39 years.

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