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Elders in Action

...of transformation, consciousness, and elders making a difference

2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions: Elders add energy and content

by Libby and Len Traubman

POWR2015_Booth.jpgIn our mid-70s, we are redefining the meaning of retirement. Many of our recent ancestors lived out their lives with shrinking world views and diminishing self importance.  Seeking comfort, they passively abdicated the joy of responsibility,  "leaving it to the next generation."  

Our fellow elders often ask: "What are our options?"  For the two of us, it is participating as fully as possible— giving back our time-tested skills, wisdom, attention, and energy to cure the needful social and environmental sicknesses threatening our human community and Earth herself.

In October 2015, we hosted a booth at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah, under the banner “Palestinians and Jews Listening in Dialogue.” READ MORE!

Dolphus Weary: What needs can I help with?

A Mississippi minister devotes the encore phase of his life to rural poverty and the racism that feeds it, saying, “A lot of people are struggling with ‘what do I do next?’ Look around your community and ask, ‘what needs can I help with?’”

Dolphus WearyI grew up in a single parent family – Mom and the 8 of us lived in a three-room house. I understood poverty and what it means not to have enough and when I looked at the problems around me in Mississippi, they were so big, I wanted to go somewhere else. I went to college in California on a basketball scholarship, then got my graduate degree in a Christian seminary. It was then I realized that my calling was about my faith, but also about making a difference.

When my wife and I moved back to Mississippi in 1971, the question we asked was: do we simply ask poor people of Christian faith to give their lives to Jesus and promise them they will one day go to heaven or can our faith have an impact on their needs right now?  READ MORE!

Karen Harwell: What can one person do?

The Donella Meadows Institute published this profile, written by Elizabeth Sawin, of CEN member Karen Harwell’s Dana Meadows Children’s Garden. Karen is Director of Exploring a Sense of Place, whose mission “is to provide the means by which people anywhere on Earth can reconnect to the natural world where they live.

Karen HarwellClimate change, fisheries crashes, toxic pollution, endangered species. Sometimes it’s enough to make you throw up your hands in despair. “I’m just one person, what difference can I make? What could I do?”

Well, actually one person – one ordinary person – can do quite a lot if she sets her mind to it. If you want proof, just ask my friend Karen Harwell, or better yet, visit her Dana Meadows Children’s Garden. Once it was an ordinary house and yard on an ordinary street in a small California city, but today it is a humming, buzzing, quacking swirl of life and fragrance and color, and a haven for the neighborhood children. READ MORE!

Libby and Len Traubman: Their journey of cross-cultural dialogue

Goldenroom, a blog about cross-cultural living, recently published this interview about this interfaith CEN Member couple's life of sustained peace building.

Libby and Len TraubmanDown to earth with warm, ready laughs, and parents to two grown children, Libby, a former social worker and Len, a retired pediatric dentist, might seem an unlikely couple to be leading cross-cultural dialogue in some of the world’s most acute communal conflicts.

Fortunately, near the onset of their 47-year marriage the Traubmans embarked on lifelong self-reflection and outward personal journeys across cultures. They continue generously sharing their lessons learned and communication tools with individuals and communities whose lives might otherwise have been torn apart by violent cultural divisions. READ MORE!

Geoff Ainscow: Taking bold action in his community 

Geoff Ainscow was treasurer of the committee to pass tighter gun safety measures in his town, as he describes here. In general, Geoff’s passion is to spread the story of the universe as the basis for the new thinking needed to preserve humanity and Earth. Check his web site.

Geoff AinscowOn Monday, Dec 14th 2012, driving home from the airport I turned on the car radio to learn that twenty, 6 year old children had been murdered in their school class room in Newtown, Connecticut. I was stunned, furious, and outraged. By the time I arrived home, I’d decided I could no longer keep quiet about the insane gun culture in this country. I started to write a letter and a speech in my head.

How do people get a Bushmaster Semi-automatic assault weapon? I looked on the web and found 8 places that sell weapons in Sunnyvale, six were private homes with licenses to sell guns and ammunition. I decided to buy an assault weapon. READ MORE!