There is a developmental theory by a renowned psychologist Erik Erikson that talks about a term called Generativity. It is defined as “a concern for people besides self and family that usually develops during middle age”, and has become known as a key developmental characteristic of the middle aged years.
When I read this, it explained so much of what I’ve been feeling for the past few years. The older I get, the more I feel the need to focus my attention on things that make our world a better place. After a lifetime of inward focus on my own life, raising a family and building my career, I now feel compelled to reach for broader pursuits both large and small that are focused on helping others – volunteering with charities, helping the homeless, speaking out on social causes etc. that never would have never previously crossed my mind. The shift in focus from self to community is a refreshingly new perspective on life.
Does anyone else feel this way? If you do, I would love to know how the word Generativity relates to your life and what you do to give back. Tell me in the comments below.