Be Informed and Inspired
Recently I was in Florida and discovered that they now post “Silver Alerts” - highway advisory signs similar to the Amber Alert system – that inform the public to be on the lookout for a missing elderly person who has wandered off or driven away due to dementia.
Obviously a service like this can be a godsend for finding lost loved ones and is a very valuable program. Nonetheless, one of my initial reactions was that the phrase “silver alert” was another example of the subliminal messages in our culture that suggest that we become needy and of diminished capacity as we age. The sign didn’t say to me “a person with dementia needs assistance”, but rather “there’s another old person on the loose”.
Yet then I had another thought. What if in our mid- and later life we had a flashing sign alerting us not to a missing physical being, but rather to the absence of those intangible elements of our being that give meaning, heart, purpose, joy, and hope to our lives. Would we pay attention?
How about you? Are you lacking a sense of identity that goes beyond your professional sense of self? Are you feeling aimless and lacking a direction that will be satisfying and fulfilling? Are there interests and passions that you set aside over the years while you focused on your family and career?
What elements that foster your growth and renewal are missing from your life? What message might your silver alert be flashing to you? And how will you respond?