The Third Third of Life: Preparing for Your Future by Walter C. Wright
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A while back, we hosted a group discussing Half Time, when it was still realistic to think I had a half a life ahead. Now I’m reviewing a book on the “third third of life” at a time when I am at least on the verge of that fraction of life. Needless to say, I read with interest!
The book is actually fashioned as a workbook that can be used personally, or as couples, or in a small group. Each chapter includes a reflection section with questions, followed by a reflection which is a personal narrative by someone in the “third third”, and concluding with a reading on the section theme.
The book follows a sequence of beginning by looking back upon our experiences and how we mine them for direction in the third third. It helps us think through transition issues and our fears and hopes in approaching the third third. Then the book begins to look forward thinking about our hopes, our renewed sense of calling, family and place questions, the issue of generativity, and our spirituality and closing with asking the question “what now” and a wonderful narrative about Al Erisman, a retired Boeing exec who has launched a publication on business and ethics, presides over a center for business ethics and integrity at Seattle Pacific, and is active with a host of causes around the world.
One objection I have to the book is that most of the profiles are of very successful people in life–top executives or leaders in organizations and it tends to read as a guide for the rich and privileged. Certainly these people may have great impact in the third third and equally face these issues. More material and models for those in the “middle class” would have been helpful. Nevertheless, the questions and readings are helpful and I hope sometime to find a group to work through a book like this.
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