We are pondering the questions that people in various stages of life might be asking so that we might better communicate with them. Perhaps these suggestions from Gordon MacDonald are accurate, perhaps not, but they seem to me to be a good place to begin the conversation.
Those in their forties realize that they are beyond the place where they can protest that their mistakes are the product of youthful ignorance. They are mature, and are beginning to realize that they will not live forever. We wonder what has made us what we are and we wonder what we have yet to become. Some questions:
Who was I as a child, and what powers back then influence the kind of person I am today?
Why do some people seem to be doing better than I?
Why am I often disappointed in myself and others?
Why are limitations beginning to outnumber options?
The forties are times of great change. Bodies, children, marriage, financial standing, all change and create uncertainty. Questions can hinge toward hope or despair:
Why do I seem to face so many uncertainties?
What can I do to make a greater contribution to my generation?
What would it take to pick up a whole new calling in life and do the thing I’ve always wanted to do?
Though the word ‘trapped’ does come up more often than we wish it would, the forties can be a time when people are encouraged to focus their energies in a whole new way for good.