The increasing appreciation of time as one grows older

Senescence is a long and important period in life that increases the meaning of time and evaluation of its use. When one perceives that one’s days are numbered, one considers more carefully how one invests one’s time.

I took part in the Tavistock: 70 years festival. It was lively, rich in content, and diverse in events. In particular, I was impressed by Eliat Aram’s (CEO of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations) lecture on Tavistock’s history. In her lecture, Aram described Tavistock’s past through the eyes of an orphan, with reference to stories from literature and elsewhere. (Twenty of Walt Disney’s characters are orphans.) Similar orphanhood had been experienced by many participants in the festival; many also expressed the feeling that the TIHR was their ‘home’.

It is difficult to define what the Tavistock Insitute of Human Relations (TIHR) really is. It is involved not only in research but also consultation and teaching. It is concerned with both psychology and corporate life and participates in. In these respects, it is different, does not fit in, is difficult to define, and is solely responsible for its path and development.

There was a wide range of programmes at the festival, from theatre to traditional lectures and ‘social dreaming’ happenings and ‘World café’ methods for group work. It was exiting to learn about robotisation and other wonders of the future: for example, how robots are going to change our societies, and questions about the stability and continuity of democracy. I was also impressed by the intensive work that had gone into the four-and-a-half day ‘Silver Generation’ group relations event.

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The minimum age for participants was 70 years old. This conference explored considerations of ageing as a life period. It was surprising to see how animated the discussions of everything to do with old age became. They included topics such as loneliness, fear of death, illnesses, and the loss of (or fear of losing) one’s spouse—themes that touched everyone. The consultants were such veterans of group dynamics as Mannie Sher, Olya Khalelee, Wiliiam Halton, Deirdre Moylan, and David Armstrong.

To themes arouse continuity and loneliness. When the conference melted together with other program and especially to the powerful lecture of Eliat Aram the theme of orphan hood expanded also to touch the “Silver generation”.

It is difficult to define senescence; it is homeless, diverse and walking on its own path. Our rapidly progressing structural transformation affects old people especially, because their ability to learn has slowed and they find adjusting to the new more difficult. Of even more concern than the question of how to manage everyday activities is the worry about becoming an outsider or being forgotten.

Old people are conscious of the finiteness of life and the lost opportunities that can’t be replaced by new ones. Often their life ‘here and now’ is so painful to face that it is easier to escape to the ‘golden memories’ of the past.

If the eldery are considered as a source of wide knowledge, senescence . A valuable and respected feature of old age is undoubtedly the increase in appreciation of time. When the amount of the days left diminishes, one wants to influence their quality by increasing the number of good moments that contain feelings of belonging, hope, and happiness.

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