Awakening Spring in Autumn: Opportunities and Challenges of Women and Men at Mid-Life
The United Nations presented data that by 2050, one in six people in the world will be over 65 years old (16%) and these 16% will be in their middle adulthood in ten years’ time. The number of people aged over 80 years is projected to increase by 3 times from 143 million in 2019 to 426 million in 2050. And this group of people is now in middle adulthood.
The average age of the world’s population is growing. Everywhere we turn, at home, in our community or at work, Autumnals are around us. Autumnals hold such treasures within them and it would be truly valuable to appreciate them, and to love, live, work and join with them in a different way from when they were younger. They still have much more to contribute to the world in their different ways. Like sages of ancient China say: “a house with an elder is having a gem.”
Autumn is not the end. Like the beautiful colours of leaves and flowers of this season, there is much more to be discovered. “Is it time to live my life differently? Am I satisfied with how I have lived thus far? What else would I need? What makes sense for me now?” It is naïve to believe we all know how to be generative through our autumn into winter. This book provides insights and tips, so we can learn from those who had gone through this season of life. We need not make the same blunders—there will be plenty of time to create our own unique blunders given the complex, unpredictable and turbulent world in which we reside.
In organizations, as leaders progress in their career either up the ladder or sideways, and as they manage their roles during challenging transitions, there comes a time when they might pause and reflect. At the fringes of autumn, where would such a leader go in search of a safe space to make sense of what is in front of her? In Asian societies, a coach or a therapist might not be a feasible option. Even a family member may not be able to help. This book could be a great companion as one sifts and sorts through the past—and in some ways savors it.
Whether in politics, nonprofit organizations or family run business, transitions are challenging. For those who are retired and resting, the story is no different. Across the world, the Autumnals are under tremendous pressure in certain cultures and geographies – sometimes being portrayed as ‘an obstacle for growth’ and a ‘societal burden’. Gender related preferences might also play into this dynamic. For example, a senior woman leader in a male dominated culture or industry is often dismissed as uninformed and ill-equipped to lead. Governments, voluntary organizations, and independent practitioners who care for the Autumnals will find this book useful in supporting them in ways that suit their life situations.
Working backwards from the experiences of the Autumnals, an organization might be able to plan and build better work cultures. This book can initiate a conversation among academics, corporates and policy makers as they seek to uncover the challenges and opportunities to be found in a phase of life where there is much to be learned—and where many people around the world will find residence.
This is a book for everyone, be it a reader who is in autumn, summer, or winter. Be it for personal reading or for professional understanding, this book will be one to have in your hands.