Value of Wisdom: Crone vs Google
If you would indulge me for a minute. I want you to take a moment and think of your grandmother, great grandmother, or great aunt: whomever you think of when I ask you to imagine your oldest and dearest female relative.
Imagine what she looks like. I want this to only be your first thoughts. Please don’t filter out anything. Do not try to change anything. Only what surfaces first is important. What color is her hair? What is she wearing? What kind of expression is on her face? Hold her in your mind just like that.
Now what about did your relationship with her did the most for you? Did she teach you things you still remember? Did you appreciate the lessons when she provided them? Do you now?
All too often we are quick to dismiss the gifts and resources from those who have lived in generations before us and replace them with those that seem more shiny, newer or in vogue.
In many western countries we have developed an old story that aging at any age is a negative to be derided and avoided like a plague. Modernity has lost and buried our treasured “Wise Older Woman”, aka, the Crone. In past times and even today in some nations the Crone was looked upon with the highest regard. She was the wisest and the one whose advice proved to be tried and true. In today’s changing culture families are no longer living near each other, much less under the same roof, so it’s no surprise the prevailing norm is to have this disconnected and distorted idea of aging and the older woman.
What can we do? How do we change the story?
With the Great Recession forcing so many households to combine once again– as in times before… the wisdom of our older generations is more easily apparent in the little every occurrences. It’s in our day -to-day conversations and experiences that we are braking down the age barriers. Today more and more younger generations, eg, Millennials, are asking Boomers now age 50+ important questions, seeking wisdom and tapping their experience before they ask Siri. Perhaps this new trend will reestablish the significance of the Crone over Google.
In addition, as more Baby Boomers age in positions of power, the timeframe for being considered “over the hill” is changing significantly from the current age of 40 to what will soon be post 50 as each generation enters its own midlife. While the definition of aging is going more positive it is an ongoing evolutionary change that doesn’t happen over night. For most women across western cultures, it is still a daily challenge for women no matter their zip code, generation, or occupation to receive the respect for the value women bring to society and humanity. It is high time women, most especially older women 40+ receive the respect, admiration and opportunities to take their place at the leadership table.
No matter how it seems on the surface, I know in my bones we older women (40+) will lead the way into a future that matters where age does not define us, rather it becomes an asset we leverage for the betterment of at least seven generations ahead.
Karen Sands, MCC, BCC
Address: PO Box 43 Roxbury, CT 06783-0043