Economic Development Needs Us!
Jim Collins wrote that one of our inherent problems of society is that we feel being good enough is just that, good enough. That not throwing caution to the wind and working harder to become great is sometimes perceived as not worth the effort.
I am here to say that our future is NOW and becoming GREAT will be our legacy!
To be successful in life we have to recognize our weaknesses, and ruthlessly eliminate them from our lives. Success is about accumulating more positives in your life, setting unlimited beliefs, and carrying a positive attitude that attracts like souls into your world. This is what I am doing and you can do this as well!
Since the radio program has become a stable weekend show these past months on WGHN 1370 AM in Grand Haven, Michigan, we have been introduced to a new level of quality, engaged community-leading Middle-Living and Superior-Seniors. This foundation and nucleus of an All-Star team is led by Brigit Hassig, Executive Director of Four Pointes-Center for Successful Aging, and Dr. Roger Landry author of ‘Live Long, Die Short’ and President of Masterpiece Living®, a group of multidisciplinary specialists in aging who partner with communities to assist in becoming destinations for continued growth.
Economic growth can be enhanced by utilizing potential and the human capital that Middle-Living/ Superior-Seniors possess. These people are valuable resources that can enable cities and regions of our country to have enduring success. By recruiting, enabling and encouraging this large group of citizens, we enhance and exploit for the betterment of our local cities, regions, states and national economic growth and keep a valued asset of mature adults invested and on our team. As Brigit wrote in an editorial recently, “the aging field is evolving, becoming aware of not only who older adults are, and the skills and expertise they possess, but also helping to facilitate who they might become”. These qualities must be acknowledged and exploited to continue the advancement of our country.
Disregarding, even disrespecting our home grown talent is silly and foolish, it does not facilitate greatness. It enables and encourages a vacuum to occur in our society, removing valuable talent when we need it most. We worry about our children graduating from college and moving away from home, the well-known brain drain, but we could care less about the wealth of talent that Middle-Living adults and our Superior-Seniors possess. The age drain not only contributes to economic decline, it accelerates it.
We should view our society in a way that encourages our aging population to stay in our cities, live vibrant lives, and assist in the raising of our upcoming generations’ and their children. Mentoring, teaching and sharing the responsibilities are all of the qualities that make societies great.
How do we accomplish this?
In ‘Live Long-Die Short’ Dr. Landry shares his thoughts.
“Remember the three key characteristics that define successful aging: low risk of disease and disease related disability, high mental and physical function, and active engagements with life. When we commit to having these as the defining characteristics of our lifestyle, we are moving toward a better aging experience”.
As I see the growth and rebirth of my home state of Michigan, it is truly a renaissance of economic excitement and adventure.
With Michigan State University and its stewardship of multiple high level projects, for example, the building of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), the Grand Rapids campus of the College of Human Medicine, which enabled what is now known as the ‘Medical Mile’, and the East-Michigan public health program in Flint, the need for intellectual talent has never been greater. Mid-Michigan is just a microcosm of our society at large, the need for talent in our country has never been greater.
We will only become as great as our greatest leaders blaze trails. As my friend and colleague Brigit Hassig stated, “with community awareness our country can be a very different place to age-where wisdom of older adults is valued and matters”.
Believing that you are needed, wanted, desired, respected and embraced adds value, builds a feeling of self-efficacy and confidence. It encourages our experienced talent to stay home, not fly south, and lose interest in the future. This is the 21st century and we no longer say retirement around here, it is walking through the front door of the ReFirement Zone baby!
Improving our aging experience by collaborating and working as a stronger team will enhance our local, regional, state and national economic standing. These actions will have a ripple effect and improve our federally funded entitlement and health-care obligations, programs that are in desperate need of revitalization and recapitalization. Doing this can enhance, encourage and accelerate social positivity and economic robustness.
Being part of something special, now we are talking! Be bold, be better, lead change, the future truly is NOW!
Step up and become part of the solution, you are valued and you are GREAT!