There’s an interesting group that I think people should know about called The Elders. It consists of a group of twelve individuals who have attained world recognition for their work in supporting peace, justice, health, and other positive values around the globe, including Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Desmond Tutu, and former president Jimmy Carter. The idea is that they can use their “1,000 years of collective experience” to help solve existing problems around the world. Their first project was to travel to the Sudan to help with the Darfur crisis. They also went toKenya to help mediate the violent partisan dispute over leadership there. The group is sponsored by a number of individuals and organizations that have raised over $18 million thus far to support their efforts.
This strikes me as an extremely worthy enterprise, because it values the elders of our society to generate solutions to age-old problems. Historically, cultures have often turned to the elders for answers to life’s deep problems. Unfortunately, in our modern age, we have too often put the reigns of control and leadership in the hands of youngsters who have not yet gained the experience necessary to make good decisions. This project is an acknowledgement that we need to turn once again to our elders to access the wisdom they have in solving the great problems of our world, including war, poverty, human rights abuses, and environmental pollution. For more information, go to www.theelders.org.