Friday, April 15, 2016

What Are The Most Productive Decades of Life?


BETWEEN SEVENTY AND EIGHTY million baby boomers are going to hit age sixty five in the next fifteen years. If 20% are evangelicals and they decide to serve a  local church this means 20-30 unpaid volunteers at each place of worship. Tragically, we have bought the lie that our senior citizens are good for nothing but to be let out to pasture.  Henry Durbanville provides some  interesting facts to the contrary. 

A Productive Senior 
“There are figures to show that the greatest productivity of man’s life lies in the decade between his sixtieth and seventieth year. The method adopted to learn the actual facts relating to man’s working period was as follows: Some four hundred names of the most noted men in all times from all lines of activity, were chosen. There were statesmen, painters, warriors, poets, and writers of fiction, history, and other prose work. Opposite to the name of each man indicated his greatest work or achievement. This list was then submitted to critics, to learn their opinion of the greatest work of each man submitted. The names of their greatest works were accepted, or altered, until the list was one that could be finally accepted. After this was done the date at which the work was produced was placed after the name, and so the age was ascertained at which the individual was at this best. The list was then arranged according to decades." 

Durbanville continues, "It was found that the decades between sixty and seventy contained thirty-five percent of the world’s greatest achievements. Between the ages of seventy and eighty, twenty-three percent of the world’s greatest achievements fell; and in the years after eightieth, six percent. In other words, sixty-four percent of the greatest things of the world have been accomplished by men who had passed the sixtieth year; the greatest percentage, thirty-five, being in the seventh decade”[1]

Do many seniors  unwittingly waste their last decades? Could it be that our final years might be our most useful? If you are retired it's not too late to rethink what you have to offer? If you are a member of the local church, it is not too late harvest the skills and abilities of your Senior members. 




[1] Henry Durbanville, “Never Too Old,” from The Best Is Yet to Come 

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