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On Participating in the National Convention

The Village Movement reminds us that we no longer will allow people in power to define us - that the fear of dying is human but the fear of aging is cultural! While we are all ‘older persons in training’ using our imaginations and plans to be autonomous and collaborative, we also know that friends in community enhance our lifeline tremendously.

I loved hearing that the Village Movement is a culture jamming phenomena - about interdependence and mutual reliance. We are savvy seniors at work. We are a wealth of resources and experiences; we are innovators and experienced entrepreneurs.

Let’s retire the word ‘retirement’ and create new words that spark metamorphosis in ourselves and our villages. The Village Movement assists us in bringing people back into intergenerational supportive communities. The Movement is about future sustainability and impact. Let’s develop partnerships with healthcare, technology, housing, social media, and businesses that have value for us and impact us daily. We must re-enforce that we are a bridge between various ages and that our purpose is to contribute and connect. Love and compassion and respect are the most durable powers of the Villages. Words backed by action, optimum service, and collaborative efforts with existing entities lay the foundation for sustainability.

Most importantly at the conference, we made new friends, renewed old friendships, shared our stories and laughter, and knew we were an integral and welcomed part of National Village Movement. Openness, love and support . . . it was there for the making and the taking. So much concrete information and workable ideas to digest and share! All speeches are now available on the National website; so when you are so inclined and open to new ideas and affirmation, watch and celebrate all that being a Village means to us here in Villages of Santa Fe.

Sheila Doran-Benyon, Chair, Villages of Santa Fe

Sheila and Michelle Rothwell attended the National Village to Village Conference in Columbus, Ohio, October 16-19th.

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