I had breakfast recently with two friends in their 70s. Both have enjoyed very successful professional lives, but are now struggling with how to “give back” in later life.
Can helping others really make you happier?
Let’s explore this concept together. Like so many things in life, happiness is a matter of perspective. When you are feeling anxious, or even a little depressed, it’s easy to get caught up in your own emotions. The more you think about your situation, the darker your thoughts tend to get, until moving forward seems impossible.
Life blessed me with a gaggle of nieces and nephews, but I never had kids. While in many ways not having children worked for my lifestyle, there are some things I missed out on: the major awe factor that comes with being with toddlers, the wit of teenagers and now, the no grandchildren factor.
According to psychologists, we go through various stages of life from birth to death. Rich or poor, whatever our ethnicities, religions or culture, we share this passage through distinct phases of life. And the years after 60 or so are considered the years of giving back.
If you are looking for the best gifts for grandma, I have some surprising news. While travel opportunities, unique experiences, handmade items and spa treatments are all hits with women over 50, one item is requested more than any other – gift certificates.
Yes, you heard that right! Gift certificates.
Volunteering will likely mean something different to just about everyone who reads this.
Think about it. Becoming a volunteer could range from working at an animal shelter or in a food kitchen, becoming a docent or a tour guide at a museum. It could involve serving on the board of a non-profit whose mission is especially meaningful to you.
There were 6 of us in the car as we chatted our way to one of Bali’s beach towns for a girls’ day out. Don’t ask me to retrace the conversational trail and tell you how we got there, but someone said, “Do you remember Kermit the Frog?” Without missing a beat I started to sing, It’s not easy being green… but stopped in mid-breath.
In our 60s, we are old enough to remember the days when the scourge of AIDS seemed to hover everywhere. Many of us have known someone who was dying or have lost someone to the disease.
As retirement approaches, the opportunities to embark on voluntary work become increasingly appealing.
But what to do? If you are not going to get paid, it has to be something you enjoy, something you feel passionate about and, hopefully, something that will give you a new perspective on life.
“The cultivation of compassion is no longer a luxury, but a necessity, if our species is to survive.” – The Dalai Lama
In the first part of this blog, I shared several research studies that point to a compassionate lifestyle as a path to health and happiness. In this blog, I will share what I am learning at the Compassion in Education Working Group about cultivating and practicing the compassionate lifestyle.