The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.
– Martin Luther King Jr.
100 Year Lifespan: The coming reality
The 100 Year lifespan is coming. As of 2014 there were 72,000 centenarians (U.S.) and projections of as many as 1 million by 2050. In the industrialized world, people over 90 years of age are the fastest growing segment of the population. By the end of this century the average life expectancy is expected to be 100 years. Notably, Japan’s centenarians, who number about 30,000, have quadrupled in the last 10 years.
Now there are 43 Million Americans over age 65 years age. By 2050 that number is expected to rise to 108 million. The number of those over 85 years could increase five-fold by that time.
A person skilled in the art of questioning is a person who can prevent questions from being suppressed by the dominant opinion. – Hanz-Georg Gademer
It was just after New Years 2015 when an an article by Warren Berger entitled “Forget Resolutions, Whatʼs Your Beautiful Question” caught my eye. In it, the author (see his book “A More Beautiful Question” 2014) suggests that instead of making New Years resolutions (ie: aspirational statements) we should formulate our own ʻbeautiful questionʼ. With questioning firmly top of mind, I started noticing game-changing endeavors that began with one fresh, simple question.
The skill to listen and to give ourselves the time/space to reflect on what we observe is central to a good life. Quality listening allows personal and professional growth, sustains our relationships and promotes learning. Without the ability to listen, we place ourselves out of range of others, and thus unable to gain valuable insights from them, or to provide help and answer needs. For a fulfilling personal and professional life we must acquire the skill of honed, effective listening.
Although most of us recognize the value of listening, human nature possesses a strong impulse to share, and, even, to be first to speak and to voice our opinion! Despite both a need and desire to listen, humans have a nearly irrepressible urge to interrupt in order to share their own point. Such impulses can, and do, crowd out the other personsʼ words, insights and desires whereby they may never be heard.
Listening in Healthcare
Recently the topic of listening has been getting a major public airing in discussions regarding doctor/patient communications. Continue reading →