Time for radical change – let’s begin 2013 by doing the right things!
As 2012 closes its portal on a strangely chaotic and yet transformational year, I reflect on what is happening both in my own life and in the bigger picture in the world. Everything from politics to social reform – and of course ‘the weather’ – has thrown curved balls at all we used to know; governments over turned, hurricane ‘sandy’ hitting New York, austerity and bankruptcy across Europe…The famously reported ‘end of the world as we know it’ on December 21st came and went and chaos reigns supreme. But there does feel like a new underlying energy is emerging and in places one might not expect.
We are at a tipping point I believe where things cannot continue the ‘same old same old’ way. I have in my own world transformed everything to be different; aged 63, I met and married my true love from another continent all within the year, I stopped working the way I was doing, I am looking at new ways to create income, have moved to new environment by the sea and choose with my new husband to risk all for a new future together. We are not throwing our past away, nor become defiant and revolutionary but more we see that the way most of us do things right because we believe that keeps us safe, in fact miss the opportunity to do the right things.
Within the chaos of last year’s events, governments and authorities, civil and social rules still appear to cling to ‘doing things right’…rules and regulations tighten their grip on world affairs (and our lives) and the minute details of our everyday existence suffers out of our control… bills get bigger, incomes smaller, law abiding citizens threatened with bankruptcy and poverty line-living, austerity extends its embrace, and still the rich get richer. “Tighten our belts” is the great chant of EU countries and others across the world, even the US, as ‘austerity’ lingers it stifles the desire for growth. We continue to impact people through rules that have outgrown their sell by date. Red tape, banks, taxes, liabilities, fines, all stunt those small businesses that are the lifeblood of many countries by applying unfit rules that governed last year’s budgets. Why don’t we question whether ‘doing things right’ is right?
How can we fit desirability for a better healthier wealthier life into ‘rules’ and into ‘doing things right’ if the right things are not being done? When rules are outmoded, who gets to transform them? Dare I ask – who gets to create new designs, guidelines, “rules” for a new order that embraces the ‘right things’ rather than stay “doing things right” as governments, politicians and rule makers tend to do merely because it’s the way we’ve always done things? A bit like the Titanic, built by doing things right to ensure an unsinkable boat, the designers didn’t do the right things to compete with an iceberg… the ship went down, the past is sunk. The world is being thrown curved balls wherever we look yet all we do is keep on doing things right and not noticing when it does not work.
Let’s deepen the point… take an example personal to me and mine.
I married my true love, Jim, this Oct 7th 2012; and being of mature years, he American and me British, with over 90 years of expertise between us, we have much to offer the world of work and the desire and the need to do so. Experts in the field of Entreprenology and Gender Communication, we deliver inspiration and information- rich programs that can add richness (in all ways) a new class of successful SMEs and budding entrepreneurs that the UK desire to kick-start our economy.
The first ‘doing the right things’ rule, that is a stumbling block rule for us right now, is that one can’t just fall in love, get married and turn up in the UK and develop business even though we desire to add to the UK coffers by paying lots of taxes, spreading employment and boosting the UK economy.
Given we are 63 and 68 respectably, (and the US and the UK are not as friendly about letting people into their lands just because they are married), we have not got a work visa yet for my husband and a deadline looms when we might have to fly away for a period of time before being let back in. Due to the rules, we might end up being forced to be apart for two months (which will be painful as we are very much in love) so we may have go to yet another destination and disturb our hopes of building a strong business in the UK. The worst scenario is that it could bankrupt us merely by stopping us doing what we do best.
Ever the optimist, “hope springs eternal” and we hope to gain the VISA permission soon (I will let you know as that occurs)… but it’s not easy because rules say what has been laid down and therefore must be followed … rather than doing the right things and looking at case by case scenarios.
It appears the fundamental principle behind this particular set of ‘doing things right’ immigration rules is that few countries heed a love story – it’s all about money and costs; i.e. can we be a ‘credit’ not a ‘cost’ by being UK or US residents?
This got us thinking about the ‘cost’ of old age and whether we (as society) are really doing the right thing when it comes to our expanding mature generation. Something Jim and I are acutely aware of… and paying attention to!
Why do we see only the cost burden of old age – rather than as an amazing pool of talent as a credit base for a revival economy?
In the course of our own investigations, we have discovered that if two mature over 60’s people such as us, 63 and 68, from different countries fall in love but didn’t have the inclination, skills or energy to develop a business or a lot of money, they wouldn’t be allowed to stay in either country to live together. Each country fears the burden of old age – because ‘old people cost money’… now although I can understand that care needs to be taken in the case of immigration in general and rising populations are costly, more and more oldies like us can contribute a lot.
Surely wisdom adds value?
In a world where we are growing an ever increasing mature world population of oldies, with more people over 60 and rising life expectancy especially for women, it would be a good idea to view over 60’s as potential credits to society i.e. see them as wise experts whose talents can boost a failing economy – both driving new business and lowering the drainage on medical care by staying motivated and healthy for longer – let’s not view all oldies as a disaster zone!
Millions of oldies like us do not feel or act old
There is much evidence that many oldies (for this example 60+) are choosing to be single again after long marriages, often seeking new energy from new love relationships (without the need to have babies), potentially parting company from spouses on friendly terms, and wanting to ‘give back’ to society, create businesses and building a meaningful ‘old age’ rather than giving up and waiting to die as a burden to society. Jim and I don’t want that. Having found each other, we may not have the energy of our teenage years, but as we jogged down to the sea today, the spring in our step was strong and our desire to improve society rather than rest on our laurels was a “10 out of ten”. How powerful is that if we harness over 60s rather than write them off?
By doing the right things many have been locked into ‘being old is a burden – viewing retirement, pensions and eventually being in care homes as the only course ahead. We disagree and in fact see our generation as a potential rich source of economic revival. However we need a new perspective on this not the old rules of business controls, restrictions and penalties – or the good intentions of many entrepreneurial oldies of 60+ could be shattered forever and we create an even greater burden of an unmotivated unhealthy old age.
My husband, Jim, and I are not prepared to retire and lay down our gifts, we want to work for the good of our homelands – the UK or US economy – and do the right things not just for our own life together but for our children, their children and their children. We want not just to work but to be an advantage to a failing economy, not a cost but a credit note on the bottom line. And we know millions like us. We plan to educate and teach them the core practical Entreprenological Skills and mindset needed. Watch what happens when wisdom, imagination and experience take up the mantle once more and ‘economic heroes’ are 60 plus!!!
Wisdom is doing the right things, not doing things right Taking a lesson from ancient wisdom, Solomon chose the mother who would rather give away her baby than have her child cut in half when two mothers claimed the same baby. Solomon did the right thing by observing the personal emotion of the mother who cared.
Mature oldies have much to care about, yet governments and society often penalises, demoralises and restricts their contributions and ideas when ‘doing the right things’. Oldies like us have been around a long time, let’s do the right things and give credit to a life that is worthwhile, and create ways that people like us who are willing to contribute into the economy in new ways, can do so.
Let us know your views