Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
January 30, 2013
Thursday is the last day of a month that many of us will be happy to bid a fond farewell to. January has mostly consisted of days of freezing fog, occasional icy roads and higher heating and utility bills. Puzzles, board games and TV kept us busy, and the books we received for Christmas helped maintain our sanity.
This month I celebrated another birthday, and I've gotten used to being in the senior citizen, Medicare-eligible category. It is hard to believe that I've been hanging around this big, blue marble so many years, but that's what the calendar says.
Instead of fading away into the background, I'd rather focus on what Satchel Paige, a famous baseball pitcher in the Negro Leagues before he played for the St. Louis Browns, had to say about aging.
When a newspaper reporter asked him why he was still playing ball at his age, he asked the reporter "How old do you think you'd be if you didn't know how old you were?" I like that statement and the attitude that went with it.
Reaching a particular age doesn't necessarily bring wisdom, but simply having been there and done that can bring perspective and the ability to give advice when asked -- and to learn to be silent if you can't say something good about somebody else.
Aging brings maturity and the time to spend doing things you'd like to do and to learn more about your community.
Those of us who came of age during the John F. Kennedy presidency (and before) believed in doing good things for others and worked hard to right so many wrongs in our world. We marched for civil rights, rode buses and registered voters. We joined the Peace Corps and volunteered where the need was greatest and where our talents could be used. We believed in good medical care and education and equal opportunity -- and those attitudes haven't changed throughout the years.
Time has neither dimmed our enthusiasm, nor has it diminished the need for help at the food banks and the medical clinics, helping a child learn to read, sharing our time and our gifts at churches, or helping to provide assistance in MI Town or any community whenever it is needed. We learned long ago that by doing something for somebody else we are the ones who truly benefit.
During these dark and rainy winter days, let's focus on the good, positive things we can all do to make MI Town an even better place to live for everyone. On Saturday, come to the community breakfast at the Monmouth Senior Center from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and see just what a group of committed people can accomplish.