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Building One’s Retirement around Human Responsibilities?
Preparing a new stage of life
Facing the irreversible changes in our environments – demographic, geopolitical, scientific, and religious – we can no longer consider our retirement period without drawing up for our life a real project, that makes sense to ourselves and to others.
Entering the retirement period is no longer the same as entering old age
Some are very young and some very old, but above all, today, there are five or six generations that have to live together and consider their future in the global system.
Responsibility among generations
Our parents would not have been able to educate us for our retirement period. Present society has no historical equivalent. _We, however, do have the responsibility to educate our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and this education can determine:
the basics of the human relations they will have with others;
This questioning is in fact global.
Contributing to a deep and real change
When I see how much energy has been "used up" in the past decades, without our having been able, on the whole, to see changes where dignity, education, hunger, extreme poverty, injustice, and violence are at stake ... I remain largely unsatisfied, because each day seems to make problems even more burdensome and painful.
Learning is a lifelong activity
We constantly have to review our experiences, both personal and professional, so we can adapt our behavior for the preservation and development of our environments. Tomorrow, this behavior will be decisive for our planet, for the whole of the universe.
After having thought about all this, the conditions in which we retire seem to me at least as important and essential as those that surrounded our entrance into responsible adulthood. Except that this will be our final stage, and it is entirely in our interest that we live through it with the least possible hardship: our interest, as well as that of those who are close to us and that of the whole of society.
This is why I made it my responsibility to do some serious thinking about "the possible roles and positions of retirees in society."
I chose to develop four themes that seem essential to me:
Learning in a way that is useful to oneself and to others
The idea is therefore that retirees can "revisit" their experiences, their capacities, their desires... with a view to developing a new "civilian career." Young people will become adults sooner than young retirees will become old.
Yet 40 years of a professional career are not the certification that acquired knowledge is "useful" to our children and grandchildren in the next 20 or 30 years, when the latter will be active in professions that will be mostly new, given the evolution of science, technology, techniques, and the environment.
I am therefore working with the idea of not continuing to offer answers to questions that should be formulated differently for tomorrow. Certainties and habits are as comforting as they are dangerous. Experiences are never reproduced in the same environment; the smallest speck of sand can make them succeed or fail at any random moment.
New retirees could take up real learning (at the university, for instance) to be able to chart out a real project for their personal life and collective living. The idea is to no longer systematically assume today’s difficulties will be around tomorrow, but to begin by understanding tomorrow’s difficulties.
For a collective involvement around the retiree’s role and position in society
This work will be useless if I do it alone, which is why I would like to "share it in reciprocity." Building is about some people sharing their thoughts, others their materials, others yet their technological knowledge and still others, their life skills … for a life together.
To turn my thoughts into facts, I have been building my "living place": Le Préau : Comptoir d’ExpressionS , as an open and pleasant place for all those who wish it to be.
In line with this kind of work, I have chosen to develop a few actions that can be undertaken by people who are retired. Trades and professions that will be shared with those who are younger. This is indispensable if we wish there to be relations among generations. It goes without saying that today, nothing can be undertaken without real learning. Randomness and casualness can no longer be applied without risk for oneself, or even for others. This is why I am arguing that the retirement period should be understood as the time for a new career, which therefore begins with a learning period for a slice of life that needs to be continuously "reprocessed" with our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
This is why I am calling on those who support the process of actions around the Charter of Human Responsibilities, because the retirement period is, now more than ever, a time to exercise responsibilities.
I am at your disposal. It is together that we will move toward a world of human responsibility: a basic value, the basis of human relations and of relations between humankind and our planet.
To join this project, you can contact me at the following e-mail
pierrecaro 9ZC aol.com or at the following address:
 The Préauis a small meadow where friends are welcome, a "school yard" where people can find shelter with others; the Comptoir, which means "counter," is the mythical piece of furniture where people sit on either side, facing each other and sharing their views; ExpressionS because everyone should be able to express themselves freely in this place, in dignity and respect of others