Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Alive for 70 years

Today is my 70th birthday.  Birthdays ending in zeros are viewed by (American) society as significant milestones and a time for stock taking. I note that more and more, I am the oldest participant in meetings I attend. Most of my Dartmouth and high school classmates are now retired and more than a few of them have died. Financier Kirk Krekorian was asked why, at age 87, he was still working and plotting a takeover of the General Motors Corporation. “Its more fun that playing shuffleboard,’ was his response.

My feelings are similar. I am a member of several vibrant communities, in daily contact with young people and given ample opportunities to make a difference. My organization, CTE, has become an uniquely affirming and productive place to work. My colleagues and I are still energized by the challenge of pushing to new frontiers and learning from the experience. I do wish there was more time for writing but not enough to give up something that I am now doing. I am reflecting on the next path I might follow, perhaps one or two or three years in the future. The path is not yet clear.

My hostess, after learning that my 70th birthday was upcoming, made plans to invite some Sri Lankan friends over for a quiet celebration. She is 72. When I remarked that a 70th birthday does not, necessarily seem like something to celebrate she responded: “having lived 70 years and being in good health: those are things to celebrate!”


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