Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Elder Hall of Fame

We have a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a Baseball Hall of Fame, and seems to me we could use an Elder Hall of Fame. Now this is not a complete list in any way, in terms of my own nominations. But here are a few elders I put forth for your consideration.

Three of them are known as spiritual leaders.
Mahatma Gandhi
Mother Theresa
The Dalai Lama

There are the 2 Alberts, Albert Einstein and Albert Schweitzer, faves of mine since childhood.

And here are some others. I admire the political activist Granny D., who at 89 walked across the country to draw attention to campaign reform. Of course I should mention Jack La Lanne, embodying and teaching physical fitness far into the later years, and B.B. King, a great blues singer who continues to perform in his 80s. And I want to include Clarissa Pinkola Estes, mythologist, storyteller, and author of Women Who Run with the Wolves.

Robert Butler M.D. who created the word ageist and is credited with creating the field of aging has my vote as does the recently deceased Gene Cohen, M.D., Ph.D. author of The Mature Mind and The Creative Age. And Rabbi Zalman Schachter, who coined the phrase spiritual eldering and wrote the wonderful book From Aging to Saging.

Here's a few others whose lives and work I contemplate:
Anne Halprin, innovative dancer and choreographer
James Hillman author of Force of Character and the Lasting Life
Maya Angelou, poet, civil rights activist, best selling author
Artist Louise Bourgeois, pushing 100 and still producing amazing art
Barbara Marx Hubbard, at 80 working for positive futures for humanity
Irene Pappas, the marvelous Greek actress and singer

Oh, how about Ram Dass and Wavy Gravy? They are great examples of humor, service and heartful living.

And I must include some of my townspeople here. Like John and Dot Fisher-Smith, both in their early 80s, riding their bikes all over town. And the painters Charu Colorado, Harriet Rex Smith and Betty La Duke. The dancer/choreographer Robin Bryant. The poet Lawson Inada. Just a few of the vivid elders I am fortunate to live among.

That's just for starters, a mere amuse-bouche so to speak. There are so many more. I wonder who you would choose to nominate for the Elder Hall of Fame? What elders inspire you?

The photos are of Albert Einstein, Barbara Marx Hubbard and Maya Angelou

1 comment:

  1. Your list is excellent. Because it would become too long to include the deceased, I'd first of all endorse H.H.Dalai Lama, and then add Toni Morrison, Nelson Mandala and Jimmy Carter, Vaslav Havel and Waslava Szymborska ... oh, gosh, I could go on and on. I shall stop rather than spend the night making a pages long list, but, gee, I've got to add Queen Elizabeth.