World of Learning Institute Podcast and Newsletter
We Do This Everyday!
The ElderGarten - A Field Guide for the Journey of a Lifetime

The ElderGarten - A Field Guide for the Journey of a Lifetime

We Do This Every Day Season 3 #65

Hi WOL Friends! 

This episode holds a dear place in my heart, as it marks the introduction of a very special guest to our podcast—my friend, mentor, and esteemed teacher, Dr. Sally Hare. We dive into her latest literary achievement, "The ElderGarten: A Field Guide for the Journey of a Lifetime," a captivating exploration filled with stories and anecdotes. This book beautifully illustrates the dual process of learning and unlearning, encouraging us to shed ingrained fears and biases that hold us back. In our discussion, we delve into the transformative power of vulnerability as a springboard for growth and resilience. Dr. Sally Hare's insights guide us through the importance of introspection and self-awareness, highlighting that each of us possesses the innate ability to cultivate resilience, and even begin the journey of eldering in Kindergarten. By embracing life's complexities with courage and authenticity, we can navigate our paths with grace and wisdom.

As schools and our broader society navigate the rapid advancement of technology in our lives, it becomes increasingly crucial to engage in conversations that not only challenge our perspectives but also test our resilience. Reflecting on the impact of technology, including artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality, especially as programs like WOL offer entirely digital experiences, it's essential to harness these innovations in ways that amplify our human potential and enrich the human experience. Amidst this digital deluge, our humanity often seems to be submerged beneath a relentless wave of information, from emails and text messages to social media and Zoom calls, leaving us struggling to keep our heads above water in an ocean of digital overwhelm.

Sally's inaugural tale of her escapade to kindergarten shines a light on the transformative journey towards becoming an elder, underscoring that this evolution transcends mere chronological age. By invoking Frederick Buechner's notion of 'telling our story right,' she imparts the profound lesson that creating spaces for growth, reflection, and deep connection with oneself and others is possible when we actively listen and share our own narratives. This process not only fosters a sense of belonging and understanding but also enables us to navigate the complexities of life with greater empathy and authenticity.

“My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours… it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity, as I have long believed and often said, that God makes himself known to each of us more powerfully and personally. If this is true, it means that to lose track of our stories is to be profoundly impoverished not only humanly but also spiritually.” Frederick Buechner 

Our stories help others to see us and themselves. It is an essential role of humans in teaching and learning, to lift those stories, to demonstrate our authentic connections, and to show the “cracks where the light gets in”. In a digital environment, which is present in every school, these human stories, our stories, create spaces that foster trust and facilitate growth, challenging us to rise above divisive ways of thinking and to see each others beauty. 

“ My story is the way I make sense of my life, how I tell it. And I think that's what teachers do with children, with learners all the time. We share stories in the hope that we're building a trusting relationship for learning.” Dr. Sally Z. Hare

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I am so grateful for this time to talk to Sally. Here wisdom resonated deeply for me, offering a roadmap for seeking our humanity and cultivating meaningful connections with ourselves, others, and the natural world. Her powerful practice of HOPE - inspires me every day. (You can follow her journey of HOPE on Facebook, too, where she shares this practice daily.)

Here are a few of the resources and quotes we talked about in today’s episode:

As always you can reach me at or

Have a great day,


World of Learning Institute Podcast and Newsletter
We Do This Everyday!
We do our best each day to be authentic, relevant and engaging in the virtual education space. This podcast will help you see that you, too, can survive and thrive in the new and evolving world of blended and hybrid platforms for learning.
For many years the WOL Institute has provided the BEST in online virtual learning for K-12 schools. We hope our experience in the virtual world will help you navigate and succeed.