Wisdom Celebrating My Life for How I Lived It Project

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Each student enrolled at the 300-level will complete a class project entitled, “Wisdom: Celebrating My Life for How I lived It.” This project builds on Erik Erikson’s (1963, 1968) psychosocial Theory of Human Development and his ideas related to integrity and wisdom during the last phase of the life-span. According to Erikson, this last phase is a period of reflection on our lives and of integration of our past experiences. If we can achieve integrity, we also can achieve wisdom, which according to Erickson, means accepting imperfection in one’s self, in one’s parents, and in one’s life. Importantly, achieving wisdom also means accepting our mortality and the inevitability of our death.

For this project:


Imagine yourself at the end of your life ~ whenever that might be. You decide; pick when you think your life will end. From Erikson’s theory (1963, 1968), identify the stage of development (era) associated with older adulthood, the predominant issue or conflict you are facing, and the corresponding virtue associated with that stage.


Engage in a process of Reflection, Reminiscing, and Review (Butler 1963) for your past-to-date as well as a process of Speculation and Prediction for your future to-your-end. This requires you to think about past events, relationships, and experiences AND to imagine what the future will hold for you. What are the highlights? What are the lowlights? What have been/will be your struggles? Your successes? Remember: You are addressing the essential question of whether or not you will be able to integrate the positive experiences and events in your life with the negative experiences and events.


Using whatever media comfortable to you (e.g., scrapbooks, videos, CDs, art work, poetry, etc), create a history of your life to-date as well as your expectations for your future. In other words, create some type of visual presentation of both your past and your imagined-future. Your visual presentation will serve as a way for others ~ your family and friends, all those you love and who love you ~ to celebrate you and your life. Show through your project aspects of your identity across the lifespan. How you have lived thus far and how you plan to live until the end of your days? Remember: Share with the class only that with which you are comfortable in doing so.

STEP 4: (See course schedule for due date. Paper to be submitted via Brightspace)

Write a 3-5 page summary of your project and address the following items, using appropriate citation:

a) Based on Erikson’s theory (1963, 1968), describe how the predominant issue associated with this phase of the lifespan is manifesting itself in your “imagined” life.

b) Define Wisdom and Ego Integrity according to Erikson’s (1963, 1968) theory. By the end of

your life, will you have achieved integrity and wisdom in accordance with Erikson’s theory?

If so, how? If not, why not?

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Explanation & Answer


Running head: DEATH AND DYING


Project on Death and Dying
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation


Project on Death and Dying
Step I: End of Life Imagination

Chosen time of death: 64 years old. This will occur in the stage of late adulthood under
Erikson’s theory. I believe that my life has been purposeful enough and therefore this final
moment will be a reflection upon the achievements and the valuable contributions that I made to
the improvement of my society. My corresponding virtue is wisdom.
Step 2: Reflection, Reminiscing, and Review
Life will obviously be full on ups and downs, and therefore we should carefully examine
these two sides of life in the determination of whether our lives have been worth living. Some of
my key highlights as far as the positive domain is concerned include the fact that I have been
able to contribute positively to society through giving back, sharing my long-life values and
knowledge with younger people who need such guidance, participating and self-help
communities, and sharing the little that I have gathered with the less fortunate. I have also been
able to contribute passively through being part of spiritual teams that pray for our world. I have
been supportive of my family and friends whenever they are facing difficult times in life, and
that is why I believe that my overall contribution to societal improvement is irrefutable. On the
other hand, some of my low moments include losing close friends and mourning for long, failure
to publish books that I have longed to write, and being unable to control the behaviors of my
relatives who went astray.
Step 3: A poem on my life history up to date
Life is a mystery
So often ununderstood or misunderstood
I cannot narrate my life’s story

Without getting into a swing of moods

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