"Peace, Love and Misunderstanding" Graceful Ageing?
An Interesting Generational Perspective on Ageing
Family dynamics often play a role in ageing gracefully, broken relationships create frustration while mended relationships produce tranquility. But I think the most important components for healthy relationships are open-mindedness and understanding, also requirements for graceful ageing.
Jane Fonda plays Grace an ageing hippie who is the antithesis of her real life activist persona. Grace's relationship with her daughter is rekindled when Diane her daughter divorces her husband. and meets her grandchildren after a 20 year seperation.
Graceful Ageing Occures Throughout Life !
"Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding" shows us that we are all ageing, no matter our age or stage in life we face obstacles. The truth is, we do not always move through life with grace.The movie spotlight the complex yet simple nature of relationships as we age. For Cole the young grandchild of Grace we come to understand his difficulties meeting and dating a young girl he meets at an anti war rally. Cole is awkward and unsure, but as he attempts to choose an outfit for the upcoming fair we glimpse into a conversation he has with Grace. As Grace and Cole sort through shirts, Grace asks if Cole has a condom, on its face a shocking question for Cole, but Grace comments, "you need protection from boys too." A new unaccepted reality for Cole, a sign of changing times.
All of the characters in the movie are struggling with transition in ages and stages of life, in community life and in family dynamics. Separating from old relationships and communities into new and unexplored communities requiring changes in perceptions where letting go of the old and accepting the new is necessary for graceful ageing.
Part of graceful ageing relies on the mending of broken relationships. Grace a free spirited sixty something hippie still living in Woodstock clashes with Diane her daughter an uptight middle aged city lawyer with opposing values and Ideals. Mainstream family values clash with the counter culture values causing a 20 year separation putting the children squarely in the middle.
The main focus of the relational dynamic shows that there are generational and lifestyle differences that separate each generation within families, but through peace and love families come together and help one another work through the transitions of ageing with peace, love, understanding and acceptance.
We must let go of the things that hurt us, the things that hold us back and the things that will set us free. Often when we experience transitions we hold on to the past and become chocked by the idea of change. We let our own emotions get in the way of positive change. In order to achieve transformational change we must let go of past views in favor of new and different perspectives. Accepting changes in relationships, health and valuing others points of view are part of our growth experience that must continue throughout ageing to accomplish grace. We must then have grace for ourselves and grace for others to find peace in our own life.
Being Connected and Involved
There is a cause for you! Your cause may not be that of an anti-war activist like Grace, but have a cause is important to ageing gracefully. Connection and involvement play a crucial role, it seems we must be involved in something greater than our self.
At any age social activity gives us a sense of connection, but for those advancing in age it provides a purpose. The transition from the working world to the retired world often leaves a gap, a black hole in our connection to the rest of the world. Filling the gap with meaningful volunteer, leisure or hobby activities often brings untold rewards.
While we may think that Grace has "Dropped Out," she is incredibly engaged in community activities, keeping up the farm, art, activism and personal relationships. Grace appears to be a model for graceful ageing.
Exploring New Things
Exploring new things can be invigorating, rewarding and educational no matter the age. We are limited by our own imagination and willingness to take a chance on attempting something new. The ageing continuum is packed full of opportunities to experience new adventures like skinny dipping or singing at the country fair like Diane did.
Exploring new ways of accomplishing activities is paramount for successful ageing. An openness to change and overcoming obstacles by finding new approaches is necessary for ageing with grace.
Grace finds connection to a higher spirit through a ritual ceremony with a group of her women friends. A sort of new age dance and seance deriving women's strength and personal connection to the power of a higher being.
Spirituality is not necessarily religiosity, but an individual inner connection based on one's own experience. While, Diane and Grace differ in their view of the meaning of spirituality it is important to understand the influence of the connection for graceful ageing.
All the characters in the film Peace, Love and Misunderstanding have creative outlets. Creativity offers us expression of our ideas, thoughts and dreams. Creativity is the mechanism that keeps us moving forward and also allows us introspection, a catalyst for change.
Ageing is a journey it begins at our birth and end with our death. Graceful ageing reqires understanding the changes that occur during our lifetime and adjusting to these changes as we travel. We all travel different paths, but walk through similar experiences.
Peace, Love and understanding allows each of us to share grace in ageing.
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