Are you 30 or older? If so, you need to watch this talk. If you don’t have 19 minutes now, bookmark this post for later and just read some of the quotes under the embedded video below. It could change your life.
The first act in life occurs roughly from conception to age 30. The second act, 30-60. And the third, 60-death.
The 34 years that have been added to the human life span since the time of our great grandparents constitute a revolution in the field of human longevity. Naturally, if it’s a revolution, Jane wants to be there.
This group of older citizens worldwide, especially older women who live longest, could become an irrepressible, irresistible force for good. Much like the concept of Ubuntu described in my recent post, the life review process during the third act, if we actually conduct one, gives each of us the chance to find wholeness at last.
Instead of an arch that peaks in middle age and then declines, the best image for the human spirit in the third act, says Fonda, is a stairway. I like to think of it like a stairway to heaven. But we can only climb the stairway if we do the work of reviewing our lives, forgive ourselves and others, come back to our broken places and know them again for the first time. If we become whole, we don’t just seek our own salvation, we take risks so that younger people can climb the staircase also — and re-conceive their own lifespans. Instead of dreading decrepitude, they can envision themselves as evolving into wisdom figures.
No matter what you may think of the various stages of Jane Fonda’s own life, she seems to be walking her talk in this video. Without ever using the word memoir, she makes the case for a life review that builds peace in the world. To that I can only say, “Brava!”
What is your response to this idea?