This essay is about the nature and range of Generativity Three. It is also about the motivations that drive the push toward guardianship. While we will identify many different motivating drives in exploring the varieties of Generativity Three engagements, we focus on five that are central and reoccur: (1) nobles oblige, (2) living in a tangible culture, (3 safeguarding specific traditional values, (4) outliving ourselves, and (5) caring deeply by “passing it forward.”
This essay and the next are filled to the brim with diverse acts of generativity, because we think the acts of Generativity Three are least likely to be identified, classified or fully appreciated. We identify eight modes of Generativity Three, but expect there are many more:
(1) Offering ceremony (celebrations, parades and other ritual enactments).
(2) Preserving (keeping something in its original state).
(3) Displaying (allowing people to observe the preserved object).
(4) Honoring (setting aside a specific day or product in recognition of the contribution made by a specific person, group or event)
In this essay we identify four modes of Generativity Three:
- Consecrating (setting aside a specific place where an important event occurred or setting aside a specific place that is related tangibly to a specific person or group).
- Gathering (bringing together people on regular basis who have shared a profound experience).
- Preserving values (providing clarity, representation, demonstration, monitoring or reinforcement of specific, cherished values).
- Story-telling (sharing the history of specific people, events, traditions).
In this essay we explore each of these acts of Generativity Three, deploying our Four Featured Players and the interviews we conducted with our Sage leaders. We also look at other examples of these four forms of guardianship we have witnessed in our own lives, among our friends, and in various written accounts.
Generativity Four is about extending the space into a broader community and ensuring that a legacy is expanded, embedded, and preserved in this community. Stated simply, Generativity Four is about doing something much larger than Generativity One, Two, and Three. It is about doing something more than preserving the past and preparing for our own deaths as older adults. Rather, it has to do with building something new for the future by advancing civic welfare in own community. In this essay we offer some of the stories of both Emerging and Senior Sage Leaders regarding their civic engagements.1K Club