How Retirees can help the world

After Retirement - Changing the World

As a retiree, you could also play a role in broader global issues. There are two types of such issues: One, there are certain global threats to the very existence of humanity. Two, there are a wide variety of social and economic issues on which a non-violent activist role can be played for the benefit of each country.

On the global threats to humanity, there is unfortunately considerable ignorance about the nature and urgency of these threats and about the actions that need to be taken to deal with them. Even when scientists from various fields and government officials at the highest levels are aware of these threats and the steps that are necessary to deal with them, progress in taking those steps is slow.

There are three types of reasons for this:

People let their immediate gains and losses determine their actions even when they are aware of the long-term threats that are faced by humanity.An important example of this type of threat arises from the inter-related effects of global warming and deforestation. Action against these threats call for widespread recognition of the dangers involved and of the types of action that can be taken at various levels to deal with them.

The second category of broad social problems listed at the beginning of this section is the tendency to discriminate against whole classes of people within a given country. Such discrimination may be based on "race", religion, caste, national origin or language differences that do not really justify it. Yet, such discrimination continues to cause immense harm to large sections of the population in many countries. Few people realize what losses to society are caused because available skills and abilities are not fully utilized because of discrimination. This is of course in addition to the tremendous damage caused to the lives of those against whom discrimination is practiced.

Problems also arise because of a failure to promote and defend genuine democracy in various countries.

An activist role includes promoting wider understanding of such dangers and recognition of the measures that need to be taken to deal with them.


The media must be kept alive to the issues involved through letters to the editor and articles. In addition, seminars, conferences, workshops and lectures on these issues also need to be arranged. If you decide to play an activist role in such issues, you will certainly find your time absorbed in carrying out various planned activities in the chosen field.

Groups of retired persons can work together for this purpose or undertake limited responsibilities in some chosen field. The work will be interesting. It will involve interacting with educationists, journalists, government officials and the corporate sector as well as the general public. Those who play an active role may even gain public recognition of their efforts. Whether that happens or not, there will always be satisfaction in knowing that one has done one’s part in helping others and promoting humanity's long-term interests.