The website is dedicated to all ages and generations. Much personal experience and research has gone into the development of the site. For more details see Life Stages and Generations Data. Remember we are all in this together, growing older. Today is the oldest you have ever been, yet the youngest you will ever be, so develop your life plan early, define it, refine it, revise it, pray about it, discuss with trusted supporters, constantly think about it, and never give it up.
I encourage you to visit all the menus and sub-menus in the website. It is my hope you will discover self-help throughout. Under Welcome you will read about life stages and generations data, New Beginnings reason to be, new directions for the 21st Century, and about Author and Founder Robert W Chism (Bob). The site provides guides, articles, forms, media, and papers/reports under Resources; timely spiritual, physical, financial, and mental health isms for all ages are provided under Blog; and all books by author Robert W Chism (Bob) under Books.
Stay as long as you wish and return often. We are here for you.
Life Stages and Generations Data
Accept the Past, Handle the Present, and Face the Future
knowing with God all Things are Possible!
In The Human Odyssey each stage of life has its own unique “gift” to contribute to the world. We need to value each one of these gifts, if we are to truly support the deepest needs of human life. Here are the twelve gifts of the human life cycle:
Pre-birth: Potential – The child who has not yet been born could become anything – a Michelangelo, a Shakespeare, a Martin Luther King – and thus holds for all of humanity the principle of what we all may yet become in our lives.
Birth: Hope – When a child is born, it instills in its parents and other caregivers a sense of optimism; a sense that this new life may bring something new and special into the world. Hence, the newborn represents the sense of hope that we all nourish inside of ourselves to make the world a better place.
Infancy (Ages 0-3): Vitality – The infant is a vibrant and seemingly unlimited source of energy. Babies thus represent the inner dynamo of humanity, ever fueling the fires of the human life cycle with new channels of psychic power.
Early Childhood (Ages 3-6): Playfulness – When young children play, they recreate the world anew. They take what is and combine it with what is possible to fashion events that have never been seen before in the history of the world. As such, they embody the principle of innovation and transformation that underlies every single creative act that has occurred in the course of civilization.
Middle Childhood (Ages 6-8): Imagination – In middle childhood, the sense of an inner subjective self develops for the first time, and this self is alive with images taken in from the outer world, and brought up from the depths of the unconscious. This imagination serves as a source of creative inspiration in later life for artists, writers, scientists, and anyone else who finds their days and nights enriched for having nurtured a deep inner life.
Late Childhood (Ages 9-11): Ingenuity – Older children have acquired a wide range of social and technical skills that enable them to come up with marvelous strategies and inventive solutions for dealing with the increasing pressures that society places on them. This principle of ingenuity lives on in that part of us that ever seeks new ways to solve practical problems and cope with everyday responsibilities.
Adolescence (Ages 12-20): Passion - The biological event of puberty unleashes a powerful set of changes in the adolescent body that reflect themselves in a teenager’s sexual, emotional, cultural, and/or spiritual passion. Adolescence passion thus represents a significant touchstone for anyone who is seeking to reconnect with their deepest inner zeal for life.
Early Adulthood (Ages 20-35): Enterprise – It takes enterprise for young adults to accomplish their many responsibilities, including finding a home and mate, establishing a family or circle of friends, and/or getting a good job. This principle of enterprise thus serves us at any stage of life when we need to go out into the world and make our mark.
Midlife (Ages 35-50): Contemplation – After many years in young adulthood of following society’s scripts for creating a life, people in midlife often take a break from worldly responsibilities to reflect upon the deeper meaning of their lives, the better to forge ahead with new understanding. This element of contemplation represents an important resource that we can all draw upon to deepen and enrich our lives at any age.
Mature Adulthood (Ages 50-80): Benevolence – Those in mature adulthood have raised families, established them in their work life, and become contributors to the betterment of society through volunteerism, mentorships, and other forms of philanthropy. All of humanity benefits from their benevolence. Moreover, we all can learn from their example to give more of ourselves to others.
Late Adulthood (Age 80+): Wisdom – Those with long lives have acquired a rich repository of experiences that they can use to help guide others. Elders thus represent the source of wisdom that exists in each of us, helping us to avoid the mistakes of the past while reaping the benefits of life’s lessons.
Death & Dying: Life – Those in our lives who are dying, or who have died, teach us about the value of living. They remind us not to take our lives for granted, but to live each moment of life to its fullest, and to remember that our own small lives form of a part of a greater whole.
Since each stage of life has its own unique gift to give to humanity, we need to do whatever we can to support each stage, and to protect each stage from attempts to suppress its individual contribution to the human life cycle. Thus, we need to be wary, for example, of attempts to thwart a young child’s need to play through the establishment high-pressure formal academic preschools. We should protect the wisdom of aged from elder abuse. We need to do what we can to help our adolescents at risk. We need to advocate for prenatal education and services for poor mothers, and support safe and healthy birthing methods in third world countries. We ought to take the same attitude toward nurturing the human life cycle as we do toward save the environment from global warming and industrial pollutants. For by supporting each stage of the human life cycle, we will help to ensure that all of its members are given care and helped to blossom to their fullest degree.
Adapted from Thomas Armstrong, The Human Odyssey: Navigating the Twelve Stages of Life. New York: Sterling, 2008.
The following is a current generation break-down:
Born: Between 2010 or later; Wholly in the 21st century
Formative Years: 2010, 2020, 2030
Most Technologically Savvy
Have Less Human Contact
Extremely Influenced by X & Y Parents
Rich and Poor Division Greater
Born: 1995 or later
Millennials on Steroids
Formative Years: 2000s, 2010s, 2020
Value Their Privacy
Their Future Is Entrepreneurial
Making Child and Adult Distinctions
Born: 1984 or after
The bridge into the new millennium
Formative Years: 1990s, 2000s, 2010s
Diverse and Tolerant
Born 1965 to 1983
A smaller Boomer generation when compared with Boomer parents.
Formative Years: 1980s, 1990s, 2000s
Issues of Survival
Willing to Work
Born between 1946–1964
Formative Years: 1950s, 1960s, 1970
Born Before 1946
Formative Years: 1920s, 1930s, 1940s
The following is a different earlier break-down:
Others divide the life course into the following framework, with each age having 20-25 years in a given lifespan and the particular focus outlined here:
Years Stage Focus
20-25 Preparation The first age is a time for growing up.
40-50 Achievement The second age is a time of establishment.
60-75 Fulfillments The third age is a time of a more caring life.
80-100 Completion The fourth age is a time of integration (Polishing of, coming to terms with life, acceptance of eternity).
According to Third Age Partners, the third age challenge lies in the response-ability to give back, to find the best way to contribute our money, talent, and time to address the needs of community and world.
The generations before the Boomers go by a number of labels: The Builder Generation, The G.I. Generation, The Silent Generation, and the Greatest Generation, to name a few. What an impact they made for our nation, our culture, and our churches. They worked hard, served their nation, raised their families, paid their dues, did their time, made their contribution, but now the church along with society is marginalizing them.
Understanding the aging process helps prepare us for changes and a new, special, appealing time of life. Most of what society teaches us is untrue myths such as dependency, disability, homogeneity, inability, lonely isolation, retirement, senility, and the rocking chair -- myths that make us apprehensive rather than joyful about this new beginning:
Young Old (age sixty-five to seventy-four)
Middle Old (age seventy-five to eighty-four)
Oldest Old (age eighty-five-plus)
The third age parallels the first two groupings, while fourth age parallels the last. The third age is a time of fulfillment and a more caring life. The third age challenge is giving.
The fourth age is a time of completion and polishing off, coming to terms with life, acceptance of eternity.
The knowledge of the aging process is one of the answers to finishing extremely well.
Each person is unique. In the second half of life, this becomes even more apparent. Only by the grace of God do we make it to heaven. Only by paying due diligence to His plan do we accomplish His work for us in our earthy life.
Aging is the power of one.