December 9, 2010

Grandfather Energy Meets Elder Hunger

At 66, I'm still a little surprised when I notice young males hovering around me. Sometimes it's questions, opinions, or showing me something they have or created. Sometimes it's simply proximity, hanging out in the same space. It's as though they don't really know what they want from me, but are pulled in my direction. I call this experience "Elder Hunger."

The truth is I'm very often late to notice them, and I don't immediately know how to (naturally) respond. Of course they want what I (still) long for, the witness and blessings of being seen and appreciated by older men. I'd say for the last five or so years of my life I've been growing into this Elder role/responsibility, seeing and blessing the young guys, and loving it.

When Paddy Murray, an Elder brother in mission from Bundanoon Australia, sent along an article about men from TOMNET ( Toowoomba Older Men's Network) working with high school kids, and getting a half-million Australian bucks to do it, it made perfect sense to me.

The article from Paddy talks about how these Elder men are helping high risk kids at the Toowoomba South State School with homework, building a school garden together, and sharing communal meals twice a week. Everyone involved loves it and the program has "blossomed" over a very short period of time.

In addition to all the wonderful benefits of what I might call "grandfather energy" meeting "elder hunger," there are some unique benefits for both the kids and the elders. By being together they have found an answer to one of the biggest challenges facing both some of the young and the old . . . isolation.

The article states: "When older men retire, they haven't got work and they feel as though they're not making a contribution, even though yet they have a lot of wisdom and experience. The younger kids feel isolated because many of them have dropped out of mainstream school and have been in trouble or come from difficult backgrounds.

"A lot of programs have been aimed at fixing kids up, and the missing link has been getting the community to take part in that solution. That's what's happening here and the kids feel like they belong to the community and that's what is important."


Getting older men involved with teen boys is a potent man-making strategy, and it doesn't have to cost a half-million to implement. Just get some old dudes together and invite them to "hang out" with some young guys and let the chemistry of Elder hunger and grandfather energy take over. It's actually a very ancient formula.



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3 comments:

  1. Great post. Funny how each generation must discover these ancient concepts for themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  2. EARL,

    WE NEED TO MAKE OURSELVES AVAILABLE. I'M 65 AND I FEEL MORE RESPECTED BY THE YOUNGER, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY KEEP SAYING
    "SIR".

    GOOD JOB,

    BILL HILBURN
    VISTA, CA

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Earl, Thanks for this. "Elder brother in mission from Bundanoon Australia, sent along an article about men from TOMNET ( Toowoomba Older Men's Network) " I just connected with a woman from Orange Australia who has a connection to wombat spirit on that continent. I have a vision to visit that gentle continent. Perhaps I can bring some of that Tom W net presence. All the best to you and your loved ones.

    ReplyDelete

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