What is Wisdom 4 Humanity?
I was asked to be on a panel for managing change in our society. During the Q&A, someone asked a question about the graying of America. The first two panelists gave their answers about how old folks were going to put a burden on our society. They talked about investing in pharmaceuticals, boomerang parents, the increase of old folks' homes and the general migration of people to Florida.
I gave an answer which I thought was brilliant. But honestly, today I can't remember what I said.
The fourth person looked at the three of us fellow panelists, looked at the crowd and what he said next transformed my life.
"We are entering an unprecedented time in human history when there's more Wisdom on the planet than ever before."
"And we're wasting it."
In that instant, old folks became Elders. My relationship with my parents changed radically because they weren't just Mom and Dad anymore. They weren't just telling annoying stories. And I no longer saw them as a future burden.
They were Elders.
And now, I was listening … for Wisdom.
Sadly, Mom unexpectedly passed away a few years later. Just 68 years old. I felt blessed I had those few years to collect some of her stories, her perspectives, and a bit of her Wisdom. I had time to honor her for the Elder she was.
Her early passing reminds me, we don't know how many more summers we have in this lifetime. Precious time to spend with our loved ones. To make our Significant Impact.
It's about Time.
Global Life Expectancy
Global life expectancy in the 1920's when Dad was born was about 36 years old. In 2017, it increased to 72. Spanning just two generations, global life expectancy DOUBLED.
Imagine that graph and you look all the way back to cavemen. Some Paleo-scientists believe life expectancy at that time was about 20 years old. That means the graph from cavemen at 10,000 BC to the 1920's is pretty flat, right?
Global life expectancy is an exponential curve, which is unprecedented in our human history.
Let's not waste all that precious time we've been given!
Let's VALUE Wisdom.
To preserve our humanity, we have a duty to cultivate and share Wisdom.
Especially the wisdom in our ancestral stories.
The Wisdom of Ancestral Stories
My great great-grandmother Ellen Hurley was born in June of 1848. At 11 years old, she stood on the dock in her hometown of Tralee Ireland. Behind her was the potato blight, hunger and oppression. Ahead of her. The Unknown.
What went through her head as she stood on that dock at 11 years old? Was she scared? Hopeful? Was she crying because she was never going to see her friends anymore?
What were you doing at 11 years old?
There she was on that dock, watching the ship come in that was going to take her to a distant world.
I had the privilege of standing on that very dock in Tralee. Even today, it gives me goosebumps feeling my connection to my Great Great Grandma, Ellen.
She came over to an America which soon plunged into a Civil War. She married just 4 years later at 15 years old. She had 5 kids.
Thank you, Grandma Ellen!
I don't know if she lived her dreams. Pretty sure she lived a hard life.
I believe, though, if she walked through my front door today, she'd wonder how I became the King of Ireland!
I like to think I am living her dream.
What is Wisdom 4 Humanity?
These days we have DOUBLE the global life expectancy of just a generation or two behind us. We are here to create a better world for our children, their children, and THEIR children.
Let's gift our great-great grandchildren a better world.
That's what Ellen Hurley did for me and for you.
I have 3 grandchildren. When I look into their eyes, I realize their grandchildren are as distant from me as Ellen Hurley is from me. 4 Generations back. 4 Generations forward.
I can't talk to great great grandma, Ellen Hurley. I can't ask her about her life. Her stories. Gather her wisdom.
Yet in this very Wisdom 4 Humanity blog post, I'm talking to my great-great-granchildren.
Yes, we are living in an unprecedented time in human history when we can simply open our smartphone and talk to future generations!
Yes, we live in an unprecedented time in human history. We can simply open our smartphone, shoot a video and preserve our Wisdom for future generations!
What story are you leaving behind as a digital footprint? Do your part and…
Catapult our Humanity to a better place.
My daughters know about their great great great grandma, Ellen Hurley. Someday we'll take them and our grandchildren to that dock in Tralee, Ireland. Maybe Grandma Ellen will smile on us that day. Proud we honored her journey.
4 Generations back. 4 Generations forward.
That's how we will evolve.
That's Wisdom 4 Humanity.