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Desmond Tutu, age 81, is Anglican Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  He is known the world over as a remarkable role model for activism seeking peace and justice through nonviolence, reconciliation, and interfaith dialogue.  In his prolific writings, he offers a vision of a world transformed by hope and compassion. His recent books include:

No Future Without Forgiveness (2000)

God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time (2004)

Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes All the Difference (2010) (with D. M. Tutu)

Tutu Authorized (2011) (by A. Sparks and M. Tutu).

Desmond and the Very Mean Word (2013)  (a children’s book with D. C. Abrams)

The power of his writings can be felt in these quotations:

There can be no future without forgiveness.

What faith you belong to is very largely an accident of birth and geography . . . It is not the faith that comes first, it is the fact of being human together. The revolutionary truth being that we are all equally loved by God.

Africans believe in something that is difficult to render in English. We call it ubuntu, botho. It means the essence of being human. You know when it is there and when it is absent. It speaks about humaneness, gentleness, hospitality, putting yourself out on behalf of others, being vulnerable. It embraces compassion and toughness. It recognizes that my humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.

Civic Engagement Tips for Older Writers

Older writers might team up with friends to teach writing classes (memoir, writing exercises, journaling, travel writing, essays) in a Senior Centre or a Community Centre or they might choose to lead a new writing group for elders, for youth, or all generations.

Writing Exercise

Select a poem you admire and enjoy rereading. Print it out double-spaced. Write your lines in between. You can either respond to each line at a time or link your responses across lines stanza by stanza.  Afterwards, type out your responses only. You might just have the kernel of your own poem.

Second Journey Visioning Councils

“Exploring Community and Interdependence in Later Life”

This intensive three-day experience will be an inspiring exploration of the role of community in the second half of life. Discussion will move from our personal needs for community to how we support each other as we strive to live more expansive lives and create supportive, caring models of community responsive to the needs of later life.

April 11-14, Chapel Hill NC

Oct. 31-Nov 3, San Francisco area (Burlingame, CA)

Book Review

AGING IN COMMUNITY

Janice M. Blanchard, Editor;
Bolton Anthony, General Editor     Chapel Hill NC: Second Journey Publications, 2013

As a member of the Second Journey board, I am especially proud of this commissioned book on Aging in Community. Many of the articles are accessible on the Internet in the special issue of Itineraries (Fall, 2012), the e-newsmagazine of secondjourney.org.

Aging with spirit can be an exciting journey if we broaden our vision to seek innovative ways to foster aging in community.  It is time for us to embrace our interdependence – to move past the North American focus on independence.

The dreams of older adults for a good old age call out for change beyond the two modern established paths: old age in an institution or aging in place (often isolated, without support). Austerity budgets everywhere and humankind’s threatened relationship with the earth add to the emerging cry for new alternatives. Charting a third way, this Aging in Community collection of 40 brief essays, poems and paintings offers an excellent resource to promote reflection, group conversation, and action.

TO READ MORE>> Blanchard13-AginginCommunityReviewbyRyan

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With this shadow photo from my recent visit to a nature park in South Carolina, I bid you adieu,

Ellen