Meckelson, Doug 1962-
Meckelson, Doug 1962-
Born 1962. Education: Earned M.B.A.
Office—Elder Wisdom Circle, 1200 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Ste. 313, Walnut Creek, CA 94596.
Director, lecturer, and writer. Elder Wisdom Circle, Walnut Creek, CA, founder. Previously worked in the financial services industry for approximately eighteen years, including as a project and training manager for a prominent brokerage firm.
(With Diane Haithman) The Elder Wisdom Circle Guide for a Meaningful Life: Seniors across America Offer Advice to the Next Generations, Plume (New York, NY), 2007.
Doug Meckelson, a former San Francisco-area businessperson, is founder of the Elder Wisdom Circle, an online intergenerational, nonprofit program. The program pairs advice seekers, typically ranging from their teens to their thirties in age, with older volunteers sixty to 105 years of age who share their knowledge and wisdom. Meckelson, who founded the organization based on the inspiration he received from his grandmother, is the author, with Diane Haithman, of The Elder Wisdom Circle Guide for a Meaningful Life: Seniors across America Offer Advice to the Next Generations. Writing in AARP magazine, Janet Kinosian noted that "the questions and answers are delightful, and it's refreshing to see the no-nonsense advice of those 65 and older." Kinosian added: "Basically, the answers fall into two main categories: … don't take yourself and your life so seriously, and … accept yourself from the inside out and everything outside will work itself out."
In the book, the authors write specifically about sixty individual "elders" and nine specific groups from across North America. In the process, they discuss some of the most compelling and provocative issues that the Elder Wisdom Circle members have addressed with those in need of help. The book includes profiles of the advice givers and provides a forum for multiple responses, creating a dialogue between elders that presents several different answers or alternatives to a question or a problem. The book's ten chapters address topics such as parent-child relationships, sibling rivalry, lasting love, how to make decisions, career problems and challenges, and aging and loss. The elders also offer advice on problems such as arguing with neighbors and even giving a eulogy. The questions and issues were taken from the group's Web site, www.elderwisdomcircle.org. The questions answered on the Web site and in the book are wide-ranging. For example, in the answer to one question, elders reveal the three things they would change about their pasts. In another instance, they advise on confronting a spouse about a secret bank account and taking time to slow down in life and enjoy it before it is all gone. Overall, the issues are presented and discussed according to the major stages of life in which they usually occur. In the final chapter, the elders offer their secrets and watchwords for living a wise life.
"Many engaging and thoughtful questions and responses are recounted," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor in a review of The Elder Wisdom Circle Guide for a Meaningful Life. Deborah Bigelow, writing in the Library Journal, noted that the book "should prove interesting to patrons of all ages" and deemed it "highly recommended."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
AARP, February, 2008, Janet Kinosian, review of The Elder Wisdom Circle Guide for a Meaningful Life: Seniors across America Offer Advice to the Next Generations.
Library Journal, July 1, 2007, Deborah Bigelow, review of The Elder Wisdom Circle Guide for a Meaningful Life, p. 107.
Publishers Weekly, June 4, 2007, review of The Elder Wisdom Circle Guide for a Meaningful Life, p. 37.
Book Tour,http://www.booktour.com/ (April 29, 2008), profile of author.