Becoming an Elder: Bravely Going Where Young People Have Gone Before – by Linda Stout
The best part of getting older (I just celebrated my 61st birthday!) is that I get to see young leaders that have come through one of our trainings or networks, now taking the reins of both new and old national organizations, as well as regional and local. It is a thrilling moment to see these young leaders now being the leaders and keynote speakers at major national conferences and something I hope to keep contributing to from the place of an “elder” activist (I don’t feel old enough to deserve that term, but young people now talk about their elderly parents or grandparents that are younger than me!). We have too much work to do to separate across generational lines. And we have a lot to learn and teach each other.
As part of an effort to forge greater understanding across generational divides, and to generate a space to post more personal musings that might not be included on Spirit In Action’s website, I have created a new website – www.lindastout.org. I invite you to check out this new website and let me know what you think!
I first began a personal website when I launched my last book, Collective Visioning. I was finding a lot of people are reading the book and looking for a website that represented a forum for Collective Visioning. As my last book, Bridging the Class Divide, is coming up on its 20th anniversary, it is still used in over 800 colleges across the country. While I plan to use the website as a space to discuss my books, it will also be a way to direct people to our work at Spirit in Action.
We are working hard to find more ways to communicate with people throughout our spheres of influence and this is just one of the ways.
While many of us struggle to stay “caught up” with the new digital communication, and some of us even reject it, I have found that if I want to stay in communication, especially with younger activists and leaders, I have to join in on the digital revolution. Thanks to Tracy Van Slyke and others from Progressive Communicators Network who “made” me get on Facebook, and later to learn to tweet (or is it twitter?). I will work hard to stay in touch better, both with those who like the snail mail approach and for those who use social media to communicate.
I especially want to thank the youth that I work with in teaching me to balance between my experiences, a new generations experiences, and to listen to their energetic wisdom they bring into our movement for change. It is humbling and thrilling. The movement is alive and thriving because so many young leaders have joined to bring new ideas, new insights, and renewed energy.
There is a place for all of us!
Peace, Power, Love,