No More Green Bananas ~ 3 Key Ways for Elders to Invest in Their Happiness

No More Green Bananas ~ 3 Key Ways for Elders to Invest in Their Happiness

The head of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies at George Washington University, Professor Amitai Etzioni, recently released a video relating a sociological view on aging and how to deal with its changes. He uses the analogy of green bananas to point out that when we’re young, we’re often taught to take actions that secure a “good” future. We see things in more of a linear way, taking actions today to secure financial security, or a good home or family life, etc for the future. Once Professor Etzioni became an elder, however, he realized how this linear way of orienting one’s life, activities and goals wasn’t so applicable or relevant. The timeline that extends into the horizon isn’t so long, and more than ever, he is aware that one’s present moment is where the keys to happiness lie. In looking to sociological research, Prof. Etzioni found 3 key actions elders can take in leading happier, healthier and longer lives.

They are:

  • Invest in friends
  • Volunteer, mentor, find ways to give back in your community, and
  • Maintain or develop your spiritual practice

While having good, quality health insurance coverage and care certainly contributes to one’s peace of mind and quality of life, these 3 actions also enhance people’s happiness and health. Watch the short video below as Prof. Etzioni expands on these actions.

 

Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.