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Submitted by suzanne waite on
Too often we see people move forward in life. Their learning experience is articulated as 'what do they do for a living' or 'if they have a family or dont'. But all of us learn from birth. We learn a great deal and accumulate learning right up until our last breath. At times during our life we formaly or haphazardly use this learning. We pass some of it on casually or with a goal in mind. But what do we do with all of that left over learning that hasnt been added back to society or industry or to the environment. We take it with us. For some we are reborn to use some of it again. But there is more we can do I am sure to add value to the world. To teach children who may otherwise not learn what we know. More importantly we may not have a chance to trully explore with others who we have become. What I think we should do is start a conversation and apply action to acknowledging the learning people accumulate and rather than warehouse people in aged accomodation or through isolation and exclusionary behaviours, push people away from the mainstrem, we need to harness that learning. We need to know what level of creativity each individuals learning has built and help people in their senior years explore how this can contribute to the world and indeed their own public identity. This will not only build respect in the community for older citizens but will utilise lifetimes of invested learning. We see a lot of poverty and much of this is not supported with education, yet we have a whole level of citizenship with the capacity to share what is learnt and help bridge some of the gap.

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