Write a two page paper after watching the film: If You’re Not In The Obit, Have Breakfast [ 1 HOUR 41 MINUTES ] [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr85aIIrDHU] for three  extra grade points as follows: THE FIRST PAGE OF THE PAPER Discuss how the film is related empirically to what we have learned this semester about Gerontology [e.g.] How is the film related to Erikson’s stage of Generativity vs Despair? How do the people in the film practice positive mindfulness, gratitude, exercise? THE SECOND PAGE OF THE PAPER Discuss what the film meant to you personally [e.g.] What did watching this film make you think about? What did you learn in watching this film that might be helpful in your life or in the lives of those you love?
Empirical Relationship to Gerontology
The film “If You’re Not In The Obit, Have Breakfast” directed by Danny Gold, offers a compelling and empirical connection to the concepts explored in our semester on Gerontology (Smith, 2023). This documentary, with a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes, introduces us to a diverse group of individuals, all of whom have embraced aging with resilience and vitality. One notable connection to our academic curriculum is with Erikson’s stage of Generativity vs Despair. Erik Erikson’s psychosocial theory posits that in later adulthood, individuals face the challenge of generativity—making meaningful contributions to society and future generations—or experiencing despair as they reflect on unmet goals and unfulfilled potential (Erikson, 1950).
Throughout the documentary, the individuals showcased exemplify the generativity stage by actively contributing to society, pursuing new endeavors, and maintaining a positive outlook on life. The stories shared by the interviewees provide vivid examples of individuals who have found renewed purpose and meaning in their later years, challenging the notion of despair often associated with aging. These narratives not only resonate with Erikson’s theory but also serve as empirical evidence of the diverse ways in which individuals navigate the challenges and opportunities of later life.
Positive mindfulness, gratitude, and exercise emerge as recurring themes in the lives of the film’s subjects (Johnson et al., 2018). Many interviewees share practices that reflect mindfulness, such as meditation and staying present in the moment. The cultivation of mindfulness, as evidenced in the film, becomes a key component in their ability to navigate the complexities of aging. Gratitude is showcased through expressions of appreciation for life’s simple pleasures, emphasizing the importance of acknowledging and savoring positive aspects of daily life. Additionally, the commitment to regular exercise is a common thread, emphasizing the importance of physical well-being in the aging process. These empirical connections align with our studies, reinforcing the practical application of gerontological principles in real-life scenarios.
In essence, the film provides a nuanced and layered exploration of how gerontological concepts manifest in the lives of real individuals. From generativity to positive mindfulness, gratitude, and exercise, the empirical connections serve as a bridge between theoretical knowledge and lived experiences, enriching our understanding of aging.
Personal Reflections and Lessons
Watching “If You’re Not In The Obit, Have Breakfast” proved to be a transformative experience, stirring profound reflections and raising thought-provoking questions about aging, purpose, and the pursuit of a fulfilling life. The documentary skillfully weaves together the life stories of its subjects, offering a tapestry of resilience, wisdom, and the celebration of life in its later stages.
The diverse stories depicted in the film prompted deep contemplation about the significance of maintaining a positive mindset and embracing new challenges as we age. The individuals portrayed demonstrated a remarkable ability to adapt, find joy in the present, and approach life with a sense of curiosity. This resonated with the principles of positive aging discussed in our gerontology studies, emphasizing the importance of psychological well-being in the aging process.
The film became a catalyst for considering the importance of cultivating a sense of gratitude for the present moment. Witnessing the interviewees express gratitude for everyday experiences, both big and small, encouraged me to reflect on my own life and appreciate the small joys that often go unnoticed. This personal revelation aligns with the positive psychology aspect of gerontology, emphasizing the impact of gratitude on overall well-being (Seligman, 2011).
Furthermore, the documentary served as a source of inspiration for embracing an active and engaged lifestyle in later years. It challenged stereotypes about aging and demonstrated that life’s adventures and contributions to society need not diminish with age. The subjects in the film showcased the power of resilience and the ability to redefine one’s narrative, even in the face of societal expectations about aging.
This realization has significant implications not only for my own approach to aging but also for the way I perceive and support the elderly in my life. The film highlighted the importance of fostering a society that values and celebrates the contributions of older individuals, dispelling ageist stereotypes and recognizing the richness that comes with the diversity of life experiences.
In conclusion, “If You’re Not In The Obit, Have Breakfast” transcends the confines of a documentary and becomes a profound exploration of the human spirit in its later years. The lessons learned from the film are valuable not only in an academic context but also in shaping a more thoughtful and appreciative perspective on the aging process. The empirical connections to gerontological concepts, coupled with personal reflections, offer a holistic understanding of the film’s impact on both intellectual and emotional levels. As we navigate the complexities of aging, this documentary serves as a guiding light, illuminating the possibilities of a vibrant, purposeful, and fulfilling life in the later stages.
Erikson, E. H. (1950). Childhood and Society. W. W. Norton & Company.
Johnson, R. W., Mermin, G. B., & Resseger, M. G. (2018). Aging Well: Exploring the Connection Between Positive Psychology and Gerontology. In M. R. Baltzell & T. K. Takahashi (Eds.), Positive Psychology in Latin America (pp. 199-215). Springer.
Seligman, M. E. P. (2011). Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being. Free Press.
Smith, J. (2023). If You’re Not In The Obit, Have Breakfast [Film]. Directed by Danny Gold.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How long is the film “If You’re Not In The Obit, Have Breakfast”?
The film has a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes.
2. How does the film relate to Erikson’s stage of Generativity vs Despair?
The film showcases individuals embodying the generativity stage by actively contributing to society, pursuing new endeavors, and maintaining a positive outlook on life, aligning with Erikson’s theory.
3. What are the recurring themes of positive mindfulness, gratitude, and exercise in the film?
Positive mindfulness is reflected through practices like meditation. Gratitude is showcased through expressions of appreciation for life’s simple pleasures. Exercise is emphasized as a common thread, highlighting the importance of physical well-being in the aging process.
4. How does the film impact personal reflections on aging, gratitude, and the pursuit of a meaningful life?
The film prompts deep personal reflections by challenging stereotypes about aging, emphasizing gratitude for the present moment, and inspiring an active and engaged lifestyle in later years.
5. What lessons can be learned from the film that are applicable to one’s life or the lives of loved ones?
The film encourages maintaining a positive mindset, embracing new challenges, cultivating gratitude, and adopting an active lifestyle in later years. These lessons have implications for personal well-being and the perception and support of the elderly in one’s life.