It is a joy for almost every Senior Sage leader to be involved in civic projects, and they especially value their association with colleagues. In most instances, Senior Sages first got to know others through their involvement in one or more community projects; this became their “admissions ticket” to Western Nevada County. Rather than hunkering down and stagnating in an isolated retirement community, they chose civic engagement and found they were welcomed by like-minded people. In short, this new community within a community became their social hub and network and fuel for their Generativity Four fire.
Most Senior Sage leaders suggest they are motivated by a desire to give back to their community because the community has already given something of value to them. In many cases, they were welcomed to Western Nevada County through the volunteer efforts of their neighbors. Now they want to be the neighbors who welcome other newcomers. Not a few Senior Sages have learned about volunteer work from participating in workshops that are sponsored by the Center for Nonprofit Leadership (CNL). Several Senior Sages now want to help plan these workshops and even lead some themselves.
There is a second sense of giving back. The Senior Sages often recognize they have acquired certain talents and experiences during their many years in corporations, governmental agencies, and nonprofit organizations. They believe what they have learned from these experiences should be shared with younger men and women—that not to do so would be a waste. However, this sense of payback is not enough. It doesn’t really capture the essence of the motivational basis for civic engagement among Senior Sage leaders. If service to the community is seen only as pay-back, or as nothing more than obligation, then civic engagement is likely to be a half-hearted, short-lived affair.Download Article 1K Club