Home Concepts Adult Development Essay XVII: Moving from Generativity Two to Generativity Three–Returning to Major Life Issues

Essay XVII: Moving from Generativity Two to Generativity Three–Returning to Major Life Issues

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William Bergquist and Gary Quehl

Random events become strange attractors. They call to us and require our attention. They form an alliance with our inner voices. Suddenly other events begin to organize around this attractor and form a constellation or psychic “pothole” of activities, interests and dreams.  This essay concerns these events and how they lead us to new challenges—and perhaps a second moratorium where we once again address major life issues.

Choosing Once Again Between Generativity and Stagnation

Samuel, the accountant, plays at the Rock, Roll and Remembrance party and has a great time. He talks with the four other “aging rockers” in this make-shift group. They decide to play together every Wednesday night “just for fun” and in a manner that honors the long history of rock-and-roll (Generativity Three).

Dr. Jane joins the “old girls” basketball league, enjoys herself, and soon finds that she also enjoys playing “old girls” soccer; this motivates her to organize a new soccer league (Generativity Four). She begins to teach her granddaughter how to play soccer (Generativity One) and becomes a coach for her granddaughter’s soccer team (Generativity Two). Chef Ricardo begins cooking more often, loves it, and becomes a voracious reader of cookbooks. He hosts a cooking class, and then volunteers to teach a special class for old guys who want to help their wives (Generativity Two and Four). All three of these mid-centurions feel alive and vital. Erik Erikson would suggest that they have become “generative” and have forged new identities in their lives. They have become the women and men of Autumn.

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