Home Concepts Adult Development Deep Caring XXVII: Generativity Four—The Sacrifices

Deep Caring XXVII: Generativity Four—The Sacrifices

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One of our Senior Sage leaders describes a sequence of decisions when talking about sacrifice:

After retiring, I informed my wife that my first year was going to be given to enjoying our beautiful natural environment here. Then I acted on my belief that there was more to life than fishing and playing tennis and golf. So I got involved. I guess the only sacrifice I made was that I over-committed myself by getting involved in too many organizations at the same time. This was draining and prevented my wife and me from doing some of the leisure activities we had looked forward to all of our lives. My terming off two nonprofit boards has helped to restore balance in my life.

Those Senior Sages admitting to personal sacrifice offer two reasons: time away from family and giving up personal things they love to do:

Yes, I am sacrificing, and I am not happy about it. I am not getting as much time as I would like to watch my grandson grow-up. And I am not spending as much time with my husband or my horses as I would like. At the same time, I am a problem-solver, and when I say I am going to do something I follow through and live-up to my commitments. That’s part of my values, of who I am.

Free Time but Type A

In most instances, Senior Sage leaders say their civic engagements don’t require sacrifice. Their lives are so structured that they find time for leisure activities, grand kids, the arts and, yes, civic engagement. They might occasionally complain that they don’t have time to do needle point or go fishing, or they may regret not spending more time with family members. Senior Sages may have sacrificed income when moving to Grass Valley or Nevada City, but most often the sacrifice is not tied to their volunteer activities. In some cases, they simply may have continued with the “Type A” behavior of their youth by joining too many boards or taking on too many volunteer assignments. But most soon adjust and find a way to secure more balance in their lives. Even among those Senior Sages who are still working full or part-time, there is a thoughtful wedding of paid employment and civic engagement. As is the case with many of the Emerging Sage leaders, Senior Sages find time to gain both energy and direction through their volunteer work— and this easily transfers to the work they do for pay.

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