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Erica and I discussed influencers on the ride back from Raleigh last weekend. We hope never to become self-help gurus. Endemic to the Aging Heroes ethos is authenticity, and anyone who claims to have all of the answers is full of shit. I see red flags whenever I encounter a religious leader, politician, celebrity, teacher, or New Ager who claims to know what others should be doing with their lives. Aging Heroes is rooted in holism, the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Erica and I bring knowledge and experience to the table, as does every aging hero accompanying us on this voyage.

Pirate ships were true democracies. While naval captains in the 1700s typically ruled with an iron fist and doled out insanely severe punishments for even minor infringements, pirate captains could only remain in charge as long as their crews wanted them to be. Pirate ships were egalitarian. The spoils were divided evenly, with only slight increases for those elected to leadership positions. Pirates valued what each crew member had to contribute. At a time when slavery and misogyny were ingrained in “civilized culture,” pirates tended to judge shipmates by their skills and talents rather than by race, creed, or gender. Most of Blackbeard’s crew, including his second-in-command, were former slaves.

Numerous notorious pirates were women. A pirate crew could do things that independent crew members could never accomplish. The whole was greater than the sum of the parts.

As modern sailors, Erica and I recognize that a vessel must always have a captain, but who fills that role can change based on the situation. Because I am more of a sailing nerd, I frequently captained our boat. However, there were many times when I became overwhelmed or just out of sorts, and Erica seamlessly assumed the role. Regardless of who was serving as captain, every guest on our boat was expected to help crew. Even on a small vessel like ours, much work was needed, and successful sailing only happened when everyone threw in. This is holism.

Erica and I tend to feed off of each other during philosophical conversations. Together, we come up with ideas that neither of us could have developed independently. Holism. Many of our best ideas happen during conversations we have while traveling. I would guess that half of the content for A Guide for Aging Heroes was generated from travel conversations.

We are not typical influencers. Aging Heroes is more of a cooperative partnership among fellow travelers than some cultish power trip for its founders. It is my nature to teach and to do research. They are some of my favorite activities. So, teaching and researching stuff are talents I have to share. Erica has an artist’s eye. She is also naturally insightful and always provides a unique perspective on every situation. These are some of the gifts Erica has to offer the Aging Heroes crew. Aging Heroes is not meant to be a one-way conversation. You have a lifetime of accumulated wisdom. You have ideas we have never considered. Share them with us, and the Aging Heroes tribe will move the world forward a tiny bit.

What are your thoughts?


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