Saturday, September 5, 2009

Youth and Elders

Exchange between Youth and Elders in the Anthroposophical Community

- From the conference Encircling Light, Expectant Silence.

On an evening where young people gave several artistic presentations the question was raised, "What can one do to bridge the gap between young and old?"

In a conversation I had afterwards, I said that I did see a lack of places for people of these different ages to meet. Mentioning the Christian Community Conferences for youth that I went to during high school, I found an echo in the older lady I was talking to. There needs to be places such as these, where young people can measure themselves by their peers and elders in a setting apart from their lives at home. At the Christian Community conferences, high school aged youth participate in artistic workshops and conversation groups, where they come into a different kind of exchange with others their age, young adults who have more experience than themselves, as well as older adults, including the priests. A central element of these conferences is, besides the services, the evening plenum. Everyone sits in one room, in concentric circles of chairs, and has a conversation, led by a facilitator. The conversation is often sparked by an idea out of the morning's presentation.
Out of the conversations at the conference in the Yukon this Summer it was evident that something was being missed. Could a meeting of the different ages contribute towards uncovering and bringing to light impulses that have not been able to come into being in the older generation, and are in danger of being stifled in the new?

Dave Luborsky Homer, Alaska

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