I have never been able to imagine my Baby Boom age cohort happily embracing the retirement paradigm of the two or so American generations just before us. Why should we? We’ve never embraced anyone else’s paradigm a day in our lives. Why start now?
Since the late 1960s, we have been enthusiastically in the conversation of how we can live better on this earth. How can we be healthier, happier and more fulfilled human beings? Why do we have to do X, Y or Z just because that’s what everyone else is doing or, heaven forbid, what those in authority would rather we do. We’ve been questioning, inventing and making it up as we go along for the past 40+ years, and something tells me when we find ourselves actually and truly over the hill, we’ll probably just start seeing what will grow there.
Grist magazine has a wonderful article about elderly Vietnamese gardeners in New Orleans who garden for health and profit, keeping themselves and their communities vital in the process. It provides a thoroughly desirable and useful retirement option as far as I’m concerned. I can’t imagine myself in a gated community, living for tee time and wearing plaid, but I can sure see myself growing food for my community and then teaching the young ‘uns how to cook and heal with it. I wouldn’t want to have to garden as someone else’s employee, but to be able to garden and share the products as a gift? That would work for me. (Vietnamese gardeners in New Orleans offer much food for thought via Grist.)
A Vietnamese Community Garden located in eastern New Orleans.
Photo by cracked & hooked/Courtesy Flickr
Check this article and see if you find it as inspiring as I do, and imagine a useful, playful future for all of us.