I’m sure that part of being human is that we all need to have a role in the community no matter how old we are. It gives us a sense of purpose, it defines our position in the community. Older people who think that after retirement they are justified in just filling their time with trivia because they have worked all their lives are kidding themselves. They are trying to run away from themselves.
We no longer work half of our lives. If we retire at 65 we are likely to have at least 2 decades ahead, which is roughly half of the number of years we have worked so far. No wonder there is concern about the cost of supporting us for so long as well as the cost of dementia care which many of us will need.
These thoughts have sprung to mind because I am suddenly aware of the number of former leaders, politicians, who appear on panel shows and are merely introduced according to their former roles. No mention of what they are doing now. Presumably they are not doing anything worthwhile that they are proud of and want to tell us about. I am not sure that merely writing their biographies may even give them a quick return to the limelight, particularly as some of their books don’t seem to have more than a short interest value.
We all need to be recognised for what we do no matter what level of society our work is at. The man who has spent his whole life working in the railways is just as valuable to the community as the teacher or nurse or politician and all work just as conscientiously. So many of the former leaders are just introduced as the former whatever it was, implying that their current lives are worthless. They struggle to try to make us think that what they did in the past still makes them important. In most cases it doesn’t seem to work and they seem quite pathetic.
We are all advised to plan for our retirement, not just financially. We would live in a much better world if these ‘has-been’s’ led by example. Surely they still have something to offer or weren’t they very talented in the first place? Were they just propped up by their parties?