Connect to others, across seven generations.
Across Generations is one of the Legacy Project's three banner programs, along with LifeDreams and Our World.
LegacyCubed is a powerful life tool for all ages and a catalyst for social change. There are three levels to evolving your legacy through your life: personal, interpersonal (Across Generations), and community.
Across Generations explores our connections with others and, in particular, encourages closer relationships between generations. How can we grow up and grow old with meaning and dignity?
How can we celebrate the unique, special relationships that can be forged between young and old, and bring the generations closer in our families and communities? How can these relationships make a real difference in individual lives and in communities?
By 2030, 1 in 5 Americans (and by 2036, 1 in 4 Canadians) will be over 65 years of age. Worldwide, for the first time in history, and probably for the rest of human history, people age 60 and older will soon outnumber children under 15. In the US, the population 65 years and older is largely white, while nearly 50% of recent births are minorities. The demographic shift creates the potential for rich intergenerational and cultural connections across seven or more generations: your own generation, three generations before you – parents, grandparents, great-grandparents – and three generations after you – children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Research shows children need 4-6 involved, mature adults to fully develop emotionally and socially; unfortunately, children today get too much peer socialization. At the other end of the age spectrum, 70% of all 65 year-olds will need some long-term care before they die; 8 out of 10 will get it at home, not in a nursing home. Most care is provided by family members who are often unprepared and untrained for what is rewarding yet challenging work. There is considerable evidence that links community engagement to longevity, physical and mental health, life satisfaction, and other indicators of psychological well-being of older adults. Boomers currently have the highest volunteer rate of any age group. Harnessing the skills of Boomers, who are generally healthier and have higher levels of education than past elders, can be a tremendous resource for addressing numerous social challenges.
The YOU 177 initiative helps you make meaningful connections across generations to not only better your own life, but to make communities stronger. The ultimate goal is building a 7-Generation World, a bigger way of thinking, acting, interacting, and being.
Key resources for the Across Generations program are the award-winning bestsellers Dream, a story that shows you're never too young or too old to dream, as well as A Little Something, a story about love and legacies across generations.
A Little Something is a true story that has touched the hearts of children and adults across the country. In addition to being a heartwarming gift book for children, grandchildren, mothers, and grandmothers, it's a thought-provoking intergenerational resource used in classrooms as part of family history and memoir writing lessons.
Dream is about hopes and dreams across a lifetime told by a wise old star grandparent or mentor figure. A one-of-a-kind collaboration, Dream combines contemporary art from 15 top illustrators with thought-provoking quotations from historical sages and a multilayered poetic story.
Fanning out around the core of the A Little Something and Dream books are a variety of Across Generations components. These include intergenerational activities, guides, essay contests, school presentations, and workshops. Many of the resources are free on this website.
Relationships across generations make us feel connected. They make us feel connected not only to each other, but to something bigger – to the flow of life, to the past and to the future. In this hectic, high-tech world, we need this sense of connection. In fact, we crave it. It helps us understand where we've come from, who we are, where we're going, and why we're going there.
In connection there is contentment, purpose, and meaning. Children come to understand the world better, older adults have a sense of purpose in the world, and the world itself is made whole. We are connected by the legacies passed down from those who came before us and the legacies we pass down to those who come after us. One of our best hopes for the future is to pursue opportunities and programs that bring generations together.
Start your Across Generations journey: