Lifelong learning advocate and longtime resident of Wasilla, Alaska, Charles D. Hayes wants the world to know that not all Wasilla residents are Sarah Palin fans. Author of numerous books upholding the value of self-education, Hayes says many of us are embarrassed by former Governor Palin's vacuous chatter about subjects she clearly has no knowledge of. In his view, an American life, the subtitle of Palin's memoir, should be about more than celebrity.
The authentic American life, Hayes maintains, is about curiosity, thoughtfulness, and the motivation to solve problems. It's about your life, your legacy, your children and grandchildren, and their future—matters that need our attention now more urgently than ever before. Hayes recognizes that Going Rouge, a book parodying Palin's Going Rogue, helps to put celebrity in perspective, but says what's truly necessary today is mature, reasoned thinking.
Stop Political Theatrics
In his new book, September University: Summoning Passion for an Unfinished Life, published by Autodidactic Press, Hayes offers a compelling argument that it's time for baby boomers to stop the political theatrics—time to unite and take the initiative to make the world a better place.
"This country has serious issues that need to be resolved by citizens coming together to find common ground," says Hayes, "not by those who foment public ire for personal gain. We must learn to discuss end-of-life issues, for example, without resorting to demagoguery about death panels. Too much attention is given to selfish, angry individuals and not nearly enough to the millions of citizens who work tirelessly but independently for the sake of their communities."
In 2029, the last of the baby-boom generation will turn 65. Numbering in the tens of millions, this age group clearly has the demographic muscle to renovate society.
September University offers up a call to action to Americans past middle age. Hayes believes that wisdom evolves from real life experience. Those who acquire it "have an obligation to do their best to pass it on," he says. "Our children's future still depends on the experiential wisdom of aging citizens."
September University contains a remarkable suite of reasons to discover new meaning and purpose in the last chapters of life.