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7 Steps to Becoming an Elder


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Close up image of African Elephant by Joel Sartore

A female African elephant (Loxodonta africana) at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo | Copyright Joel Sartore

The apprenticeship for the elder begins very young and continues over a lifetime.

I’ve always found the word elder a little strange. I’ve never had the ambition to become one, and I’ve never known for sure what one is. Yet many people I run into speak of elders with a hushed reverence, and recently a friend told me that the main point in growing older is to be …

This piece is adapted from Ageless Soul: The Lifelong Journey Toward Meaning and Joy, published by St. Martin’s Press.


Thomas Moore is the New York Times best-selling author of Care of the Soul, as well as many other books on deepening soul and cultivating a mature spiritual life, three of which have received the Books for a Better Life Award. At turns he has been a monk, a musician, a university professor, a psychotherapist, and an S&H columnist. 


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