“Generativity”, a term coined by psychologist, Eric Erickson, is defined as:
“A concern for other people, especially for those younger than us. We can be generative in many ways, including through parenthood, volunteering, teaching and mentoring, community activism.”
In my observation as a psychologist, practicing generativity is key to us in two important ways
For the well-being of individuals
For the strength and spirit of society
Question of the Day
How are you practicing generativity in your own life? How would you like to expand your practice of generativity?
Please contact me with your answers so that I can include it in a future Dr. Rob
Steve Angerman’s post-retirement activity is an excellent example of generativity.
Here is his description of his activity.
“I retired from the athletic retail industry in 2017. After 35 years of serving multiple Michigan communities by promoting fitness and an athletic lifestyle through my business Running Fit, I was still interested in exploring ways of helping people grow and succeed.
After I sold my businesses, I learned that the youth director had recently left my church and there was a need to fill that role. As I had coached youth basketball, soccer, and cross country in the past, I saw this as an opportunity to work with youth in a different arena. I volunteered to help work with the high school age youth until the role could be filled. Over four years later I am still volunteering and leading the youth at our church. Our mission is based in spiritual growth, but also has an emphasis on self-awareness, inclusivity, and learning to be our best selves and explore our passions.
Through networking and events like Leaders Connect, I have also had the opportunity to work with several young entrepreneurs, who are venturing into the business world and fitness industry. I have found I can share my experiences and knowledge with some energetic millennials, as they negotiate the hurdles of setting goals and strategies, building and leading a team, and the nuts & bolts of owning a small business. Most of these individuals are limited in financial sources to pay, so their success is my reward.
Living through the past 18 months has presented so many moments of feeling down, as I witnessed the devastation caused by a world pandemic, social injustice, gun violence, and a country and world divided. It is easy to feel depressed and have a what’s-the-use attitude. However, as I spend time every week with these teens and thirty-somethings and learn about their dreams and goals and striving to build a company to serve their respective communities, one word comes to settle my mind…hope.”