Elders advocate promotes ‘conscious aging,’ activism

First came the noshes. Some two dozen seniors gathered around the snack table, sampling hummus and pita, cookies and baby carrots, while chatting away.

Then Barry Barkan, crowned with a jumbo green-and-white kippah, gradually maneuvered them into a circle, calling to order the latest meeting of the Elders’ Guild at the North Berkeley Senior Center.

“This is the moment our whole lives have prepared us for,” Barkan told them with a hint of urgency. “We have gotten wisdom about how to rise above our anger. Our work is to pull the blessing out of difficulties.”

Technically, he was referring to the proper response to the recent election of Donald Trump as the country’s next president, something that dismayed the decidedly liberal crowd. But his message could have applied to any circumstance.


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