At a recent resident gathering, I was struck by how many people stood up as different committees and groups and volunteers were recognized. (There are a lot more groups doing positive, collaborative things than were recognized at that particular Forum; we’ll be talking about different resident groups at each meeting going forward.) It was a visual reminder of how engaged this community is and how diverse. Life guarding, United Nations, food compost, Foundation fundraising, wood working, art of all kinds, education, emergency preparedness, environmental sustainability, and much more…. I mean, really the list is a little unbelievable. Formidable. Impressive. Meaningful. Much of this work is outward-focused, meaning it creates or sustains programs that benefit the Rose Villa community at large, our local neighborhood, and/or the even greater circle of, say, children worldwide.
There is a lot of negative talk about getting older and I will not deny there are downsides. BUT it is a great - perhaps tragic - mistake, I believe, to look at age from too narrow a vantage point. Just as your life gets bigger and bigger the longer you live – the immense blessing of perspective and experience sometimes dramatically changing your previous conclusions– age is the gateway to wisdom, often disguised as something bothersome, perhaps embarrassing, a thing people are more likely to deny than embrace.
I believe the example of an engaged, alive, contributing, passionate (YES. YOU. ARE.) community like ours can help everyone to a deeper level of understanding and compassion for the world we are part of. It’s almost as if you are opening the door to the power of each individual and the community they choose for a peek inside. I have heard staff members and visitors stumble over the articulation of this very thing, with words of admiration and …almost yearning, the recognition that somehow this community, all of you, have your act together, get the POINT of it all, are “smart about life.” I get that this may make you laugh out loud (cause, really, we know better, right?), but I assure you that many eyes are on you and your intentional paths.
You make a difference every day.