There are places in the world where artists seem to congregate and San Miguel de Allende in Mexico's colonial highlands is one of them. They began arriving here in the late 1940s thanks to the establishment of two art schools, Instituto Allende and the Escuela de Bellas Artes, which drew, in particular, former American soldiers who were funded to study abroad on the G.I. Bill.
It started with music. For those of us who came of age in the 1960s, music was a transformational force, and so it was with my journey into a career in humanitarian aid. I was first attracted to this work by the famine response in Ethiopia in 1983-85. Unlike other disasters before it, television brought images of what was happening straight into our living rooms, while the global fundraising concert event, Live Aid, got the message out to the world that what was happening was unacceptable.
In some ways, my decade of professional nomadism has been about trying to find a job that will admit the highest percentage of me through the door. Teaching is about as close as I've come, and that's still only 40 or 50 percent. There's very little time for anything else, and if I had a girlfriend, there'd probably be none at all.
Access to employment is one of the most challenging issues facing older people today. However, organizations and nations have largely ignored the substantial demographic shifts over the past century. Humanity has increased life expectancy by nearly 30 years over the past century and this "longevity bonus" increases opportunities for individuals, as well as society.