With our increased life span ageing has become a hot topic not just to geneticists but to psychologist, theologans and range of cultural creatives. Below are five pioneers whose work has inspired 7 Ages.
Back in the 1960s it was deemed unacceptable to be talking to dying patients and telling them the truth but Elizabeth Kubler-Ross did just that. Her ground-breaking work around the 5 stages of grief triggered fresh ideas about the end of life. It has been borrowed and adapted by the conscious ageing movement to throw light on how we deal with change and mortality.
In 1990's Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi used ancient and modern wisdom to help people turn ageing into a meaningful and joyous time of life and his book, Age-ing into Sage-ing has become a blue-print for an evolutionary shift in how we respond to ageing.
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
Ron Pevny is dedicated to assisting people in negotiating life transitions and creating lives of purpose and passion. For those entering the second half of life Ron has identified important missing links in our understanding of the social and cultural infrastructure and provides a much needed map in his book, Conscious Living Conscious Aging. Pevny reminds us that consciously ageing is a major rite of passage.
Stephen Jenkinson is a story-teller whose book Come of Age - The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble is poetic, insightful and often challenging. He makes a case for elderhood in a time desperate for the wisdom that accrues to those willing to be aged.
Hermione Elliott founded an organisation called Living Well Dying Well which encourages reflection on how to live life fully, while planning and preparing for the end of life. Their courses, training, conversations and services help people think about it, talk about it and plan for it, in a safe and supportive way. Hermione's wisdom and experience is inspiring new generations to take a fresh approach to end of life.
Jon Underwood, who as the founder of the Death Cafe encouraged people around the world to discuss, over tea and cake, life, the finality of life and why we fear it. From the basement of his house in Hackney, he perpetuated a movement that spread to more than a dozen countries with more than 1,000 gatherings which were more about laughter than tears. He said that people often talk less about how to die than how to live.