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Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot on PBS’s Bill Moyers Journal

Resource type: News

Atlantic Foundation Deputy Chair Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot was a guest on PBS’s Bill Moyers Journal to discuss her book, The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years after 50. The show aired on PBS on Friday, 8 May, 2009.  You can access the video programme, podcast audio and transcript at the show’s website.

Bill Moyers Journal

Bill Moyers speaks with Lawrence-Lightfoot, one of America’s leading educators and author of The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, And Adventure In The 25 Years After 50.

Lawrence-Lightfoot envisions a much needed cultural shift in our attitudes toward youth and age – a need based on simple demographics. People are living longer and remaining engaged and vital – about 76 million Americans are now in what Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot has dubbed “the third chapter” of life.

“All of us at this point, to some degree, are on a search for meaningfulness, for purposefulness. And we want to find what this next 25 years, this penultimate chapter of our life, is going to be about. And we’re ready for something new. For a new experience. For a new adventure. And I think all of us, to some degree, experience some burnout. Burnout is not about working too hard. Or working too diligently or being over committed. Burnout is about boredom. And so, I think in some ways this is about sort of moving beyond the boredom to compose, to invent and reinvent the path that we’re on,” says Lawrence-Lightfoot.

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot is the first African American woman in the history of Harvard to have an endowed professorship named in her honor. She’s been on the faculty for 37 years, and her career as a scholar has won her the prestigious MacArthur fellowship and the George Ledlie prize for research.

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Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot