Having outlined the roles to be engaged in this play about generativity, it is time to further set the stage by introducing the men and women to whom we turn for insights and narratives about generativity and deep caring.
We have now set the stage by introducing the fundamental theme of our play: deep caring. We have identified the four roles of generativity and have identified the cast members who not only are providing the action but are also providing much of the script. We have also acquainted you with our four Featured Players. One more task needs to be completed in setting the stage. We want to provide a preliminary backdrop for this generativity play. What is required for someone to be generative? What do we need to engage in deep caring?
We begin our investigation of generativity with child-rearing and project-building because of the lingering impact these early forms of mature caring have on our lives. We propose that the early dynamics of caring in what we are calling Generativity One continue to influence us when we interact with our grown children, when we become grandparents, and when we serve as guardians in passing the torch for projects and organizations about which we deeply care.
Typically, there are two major questions that face any person or couple when they have begun to raise children or begin a mutual project. The first of these concerns the amount of time and other resources that each person and the partners together devote to raising children or conducting their project. Chronic stress, due to shortages, rather than acute crises often influence and can even destroy the health of an individual and the health of an intimate relationship. We have to place child rearing and project management at the top of the list that demand scarce resources. The second question concerns the ways in which children will be raised and a project will be managed. This can be just as stress-ridden and conflict-filled as the problem of scarce resources. We examine both of these stormy issues, then look at the unique manner in which couples address them when they bring children from a previous relationship, or a project from a previous time in their lives, to the relationship.
Generativity One does not disappear as we grow older: That is one of the dominant themes in this set of essays, and we believe it provides an important contribution to the literature on generativity. The first role of generativity not only doesn’t go away; it provides many of us with an opportunity to “do it better” as we grow older.1K Club