On Aging: “The Call” to a Higher Vision

Ken Dychtwald

The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.

~Eric Hoffer


“Rockstar Gerontologist at first glance seems an unlikely pairing–but they do exist. I’ve met a few and one in particular has influenced my work since 1993; the year I first read “Age Wave” by Dr. Ken Dychtwald.

Ken put cool into the study of aging almost single-handedly and that’s saying a lot. To paraphrase the line often attributed to Wayne Gretzky; A good hockey player goes where the puck is–a great hockey player goes where the puck is going to be. Ken has always been where the puck (Aging) is going to be.

I met Ken in the Men’s room years ago at an American Society on Aging Conference in Chicago–I was star-struck…Admittedly an odd place to meet one’s “mentor,” it was serendipitous and one of those terrific things that can and do happen at ASA Conferences. He was gracious and real.

Ken is a Messenger who’s done his homework. He has cultivated a body of knowledge and learned from the wisdom of those who came before him (a who’s who of Gerontology). The IDEAS he now wishes to Re-introduce to a new generation of leaders in the field of Aging are the pearls of wisdom from years in the trenches.

The Call

Mythologist Joseph Campbell described listening for “the call.” Dr. Dychtwald’s video is like that mythological “Call” to adventure describe in the Hero’s Journey. He’s calling out stagnating in the known and familiar and suggesting we rethink “Happy Gerontology” campaigns that have mass appeal and good intentions. And instead work towards something with more of a systems approach, a punch! that will have ripple effects throughout generations to come.

Status quo or something better? Will we answer the call?


If I Ran AARP For 1 Day

Dr. Ken Dychtwald

The Hero’s Journey

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