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Everyone is getting old; not everyone is growing old. But the path of purposeful aging is accessible to all—and it’s fundamental to health, happiness, and longevity.
With a focus on growing whole through developing a sense of purpose in later life, Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Old? celebrates the experience of aging with inspiring stories, real-world practices, and provocative questions. Framed by a long conversation between two old friends, the book reconceives aging as a liberating experience that enables us to become more authentically the person we always meant to be with each passing year.
In their bestseller Repacking Your Bags, Richard J. Leider and David A. Shapiro defined the good life as “living in the place you belong, with people you love, doing the right work, on purpose.” This book builds on that definition to offer a purposeful path for living well while aging well.
“In a culture that offers little guidance for growing old, but excels at pushing elders aside, here’s a book that will help us age into the fullness of life. I’ve been reading Richard Leider and Dave Shapiro with gratitude for years, and once again they’ve offered grounded guidance for the fourth quarter of life. Life is always a gift beyond measure, and there’s only one way to keep a gift alive: pass it along in growth and service as long as we have the chance. We who have reached old age are among the lucky ones, and this book will help us turn our good fortune into an asset for the world. I’m still a young man (81), but this book goes into my backpack as I journey on.”
—Parker J. Palmer, author of On the Brink of Everything, Let Your Life Speak, The Courage to Teach, and Healing the Heart of Democracy
"If we're lucky, we grow old. If we're wise, we grow whole. This powerful book is a poignant reminder that life is a crescendo. The plot thickens as life quickens toward the end. Richard and David help us make sense of this quickening to assure our life's path is purposeful." —Chip Conley, bestselling author and founder of the Modern Elder Academy
“The books by Richard Leider and David Shapiro gave me a road map to find my life's passions and purpose. With this book, they lead an exploration into powerful and meaningful aging with fresh perspectives from inspiring people. Enjoy!”
— Cathy Wurzer, author and Emmy award-winning public radio & television journalist
“This excellent book gets to the heart of what I believe is the heart of healthy aging well: purpose matters. It is a manifesto on how to age well. Please read and share.” —Dan Buettner, National Geographic Explorer, New York Times bestselling author of The Blue Zones