The Difference Between Elderhood and Growing Older with Diana Percy

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Percy suggests that rather than resigning ourselves to growing old we can choose to become an elder. This can be a time when we can make great contributions to our community. This deep dialogue explores what it means to be to be proactive in approaching aging and becoming an elder in the 21st century. Percy’s research points out that growing older does not mean we can no longer actualize new and healthier futures. These years may be our most influential ones yet. She writes, “When we have lived enough life, experienced enough love and enough wounding, and repeated the pattern of loss and renewal enough times, we become skilled at healing, at learning. Always this starts with yourself first. Through a deeply focused inner cycle of reflection and application this cycle builds the wisdom; it builds the elder.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Diana "Di" Percy is founder of the internationally acclaimed Organisation Development Australia. a director of Vogel Percy and past chair of the Dharma School, with experience in psychology, Gestalt Therapy, business, leadership education and governance. She has served as a corporate advisor working with Boards of Directors, and CEOs. She is also a poet and leads pilgrimages to oceans and forests and participates in a project she calls, “The New Elders” which centers on the positive development of elders and changing a negative community mindset. She resides in Melbourne, Australia.

Diana Percy is the author of:

  • Becoming an Elder: Practicing the Wisdom Arts (coming soon)

 To learn more about the work of Diana Percy go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue  

  • What is the differences between adulthood and elderhood
  • Why it is important to revisit what has meaning in our life as we approach elderhood
  • How looking at the finiteness of life is a great motivator
  • How eldership can be a great time to contribute and give back to our communities
  • How volunteering and helping others is good for mental health
  • What is an example of a retired farmer volunteering his skills to the community
  • What is the difference between being alone and loneliness
  • Why it is important to not give up our childish enthusiasm
  • What are the pilgrimage retreats Percy leads in Australia
  • How humans are invisibly interconnected like the unseen root system of mushrooms 

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 8/3/2019   Program Number: 3686

Music Playlist

From Album: Prayer for Compassion 
Artist: David Darling
2009 Wind Over the Earth #WE2340

Opening Essay: Track 01 Prayer for Compassion 
Music Break 1: Track 05 Music of a Desire 
Music Break 2: Track 11 Heaven Here On Earth 
Music Break 3: Track 12 When We Forgive

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