Home Concepts Adult Development Essay XXI:  Generativity Three: Consecrating, Gathering, Preserving Values, Story-Telling

Essay XXI:  Generativity Three: Consecrating, Gathering, Preserving Values, Story-Telling

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We find in some cases a quite challenging attempt to consecrate. The site of buried seamen at Pearl Harbor, who remained entombed forever in their sunken ships, has been consecrated for many years. There was an ongoing effort to find the wreckage of a B-24 airplane lost in the Pacific during World War II. Dedicated men and women came back every year to look for the wreckage. Scuba divers have recently found the men who died in this crash as well as the wreckage of their plane.

In most instances, consecration is about the designation of special places that are considered sacred. There is another form of consecration, however, that does not take place in a special place or even at a special time. This is the consecration of the mundane, the everyday. We live in a “sacred world” and have the generative opportunity to celebrate the values and blessings inherent in being alive for another day. In one of his illustrations of Generativity Three (The Matchmaker/Hello Dolly being the other), Thornton Wilder writes about this need to consecrate each day of our life in his play, Our Town. It is often only after death, Wilder suggests, that we truly appreciate the value of being alive and living with the everyday rituals of life.

Some of us set up regular, everyday rituals to reflect on this blessing. We sit out on our deck at sunset to celebrate the day that is passing. We join together at dinner time and share a quiet moment of prayer and thanksgiving for what our nurturing God has provided us. We “count our blessings” before going to bed or float off to sleep recounting the special moments of the day we have just lived. Martin Seligman, and other psychologists who focus on the positive, believe that these appreciate acts at the end of the day actually help to improve our physical and mental health. Perhaps Generativity Three (and maybe all forms of generativity) has a positive impact. In our generosity, we might be self-serving!

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