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We Can Change Our Future!

Abuelos al Mundo

In Marvella, Spain, in 2026, a group of old men and women got tired of boredom and marginalization.  They had been the productive adults providing for their communities and families for most of their lives.  They had been visible and respected and appreciated.  After retirement, they became almost invisible.  It felt like they were shunted away, to retirement homes and out of the mainstream of life and living.  Younger people looked right past and through them, as if they didn’t even exist.  Life was becoming meaningless and dull.  They had little to do.  Their energies were fading as they were not used.

At the same time, they witnessed the younger people struggling.  Life was so difficult for them now.  Economics drove them hard.  Housing, vehicles, food and everything were so expensive.  They ran themselves ragged trying to make it all work.  Many felt they couldn’t afford children, which meant fewer grandchildren to these older people.  Those with children didn’t have time to visit their parents, or allow them adequate time and relationships with their grandchildren.  It was hard to watch them, unnecessarily making many costly mistakes that the older generation could easily counsel them to avoid, if they would just take time to slow down and ask for their advice and tap into their hard-won wisdom.  They struggled to afford and manage childcare, lacked skills and time for simple home maintenance.

The older people decided to get out of their rockers and do something about it.  They organized, and started volunteering to help younger people, not for money, but out of love, respect and altruism, and for meaning, occupation, connection and contribution. 

Initially, they set up methods of providing for after-school, emergency, vacation, “date night” and summer care for children.  This was a dream come true for many of the abuelas, the older women.  Lovingly, they taught, played with and cared for the young ones, passing on wisdom and learnings.  Pressure lifted from parents, giving them time to think, relax, plan and maintain marital relationships.  Monetary pressures were relieved.  It gave elders meaning, purpose, joy, connections and fulfillment. 

Grandparents stopped pressuring their kids so much for grandkids, because they had kids in their lives, so population growth pressures eased.  All of it created connections leading to creation of close, caring, living communities, with people of all ages.  It taught all a value of having people of all ages in our lives.

Many of the abuelos, the grandfathers, addressed the young adults lack of practical skills and abilities.  The young ones hadn’t had the many hands-on opportunities of the older generation, so they had been forced to pay top money for workers to do simple maintenance and skilled home improvements.  Grandfathers helped young men tackle home projects, and they manned and provided advice through Tool and Equipment Lending Libraries, and they provided valuable business and life counseling services.

Abuelos and abuelas operated free places where youth could be together safely, without pressures.  This was a great need of society that had been utterly ignored before, with youth treated like criminals, having few real-world experiences or work opportunities, and given few alternatives to online worlds.  Elders offered caring youth counseling and support services.  It created opportunities to be together.

Younger adults benefitted by being able to slow their lives down, gaining time for personal growth, relaxation, evolution, thinking, communities and relationships.  Grandfathers and grandmothers benefitted by being able to speed their lives up, having reasons to get up in the morning, regaining purpose, satisfaction, recognition, relationships, connections and love.  Children and youth benefitted by being around wonderful elders who cared for them freely and genuinely, rather than just for money.  It was a great win-win-win, for elders, younger adults and children/youth.  None of it was about money.  It created extraordinary real wealth for all involved.

OurStories of these successes started gaining interest.  A group of appreciative young adults decided to try to replicate and scale these successes.  They set up a non-profit to facilitate setting up these kinds of relationships and programs elsewhere.  They shared models, templates, legal stuff, success stories, organizational tools, pitches, best practices.  It spread.  Now, Abuelos al Mundo operates globally, facilitating the sharing of wisdom, time, experience, abilities, love, attention and contributions of elders and time, opportunities, love, care, respect, attention and gratitude from young adults, youth and kids. 

The resources to support it have been 100% donated or through government grants of printed money.  It costs nobody money to participate.  It produces great real wealth of time, relationships, connections, support, care, love, community, purpose, relieved life pressures, and real life rewards.

 

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