Read The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50 by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot Free Online
Book Title: The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50|
The author of the book: Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot
Edition: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The size of the: 3.67 MB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: January 6th 2009
ISBN 13: 9780374275495
Format files: PDF
Loaded: 1696 times
Reader ratings: 6.9
Read full description of the books:
If I’m going through it, I want to read up on it. The Third Chapter is about what people do with their lives between the ages of fifty and seventy-five. I’ve read similar books, such as Gail Sheehy’s Passages Predictable Crises of Adult Life and Understanding Men’s Passages Discovering the New Map of Men's Lives, and sometimes these books have interesting pointers and more often they describe a familiar landscape.
Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot’s book is determinedly upbeat and positive, emphasizes personal growth and generally avoids crises and desperate circumstances unless they are transcended. She leans towards women’s experiences, which is fine, although I sometimes wonder where the men went. For example she describes a quiltmaker’s project to include groups of people from all faith communities, from Muslim, Christian, Hindu, etc., from every persuasion, that is, except the male persuasion. In fairness, sixteen of her interviewees out of forty are men, and she treats them with the same engaged attention she has for the women.
The “interesting pointers” I picked up include the exercise of describing turning points of one’s life in terms of “narratives,” several different accounts giving alternative explanations. Thus leaving a job might be portrayed as a failing, a growing out of, a triumph or a radical departure. The narrative form helps us understand our lives as a story or as different possible stories.
Another interesting idea is that in a crisis we return to traumatic events of our childhood. Thus if I was belittled as a child by a teacher, I may replay that when I suffer a setback in later life. It seems worthwhile, for that reason, to write out some of the stories of childhood events that stick in the memory, so as to handle them more constructively as one ages.
The familiar landscape that I see is that people can do something completely different in their third quarter-centuries (just as they can any other time). It is reassuring to see that people do not have to turn into stereotyped elders as they grow older. People who are grappling with the meaning of their lives find more interesting things to do.
Towards the end of the book I came across a comment with which I resonated strongly, “I also believe that the boundaries of school need to be made more porous and permeable, that we need to reduce the generational segregation that defines life and learning in our society.”
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