Stanley Hauerwas on the place and calling of the elderly

‘Our communities depend on memory to understand what makes us who we are. If you think life is fundamentally about consuming and not about such memories, then the elderly have no place in your world. But I believe that the older you get, the more obligations you have to those who are part of your life to remember your mistakes—and the mistakes of the community—so you can be part of the articulation necessary, hopefully to avoid some of those mistakes in the future.

So everything depends on the assumption that life is made up of wisdom that is derived from these many lives and many judgments over time. We can pass this on to the next generation. My emphasis on the importance of sharing stories is crucial in that regard because stories are contingent on the tellers. The elderly have to become good tellers of the stories that make the community who they are’. – Stanley Hauerwas, ‘For the Faithful, There Is No ‘Florida’

One comment

  1. “But I believe that the older you get, the more obligations you have to those who are part of your life to remember your mistakes—and the mistakes of the community—so you can be part of the articulation necessary, hopefully to avoid some of those mistakes in the future.” I can totally relate to that quote from personal experience.

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