Guest Editorial: Being a senior citizen gives us a different perspective

Dr. James B. Ewers Jr.

Guest Editorial: Being a senior citizen gives us a different perspective
December 26
04:01 2019

By Dr. James B. Ewers Jr.

I have long heard age brings on wisdom. I believe it now. As the year 2019 closes, I pause to reflect on what has transpired. First off, I am still in my right mind. Now if you are not a senior citizen reading this, that expression, “being in your right mind,” probably doesn’t mean that much to you.

You don’t give much thought to aging and to retirement. Way back when, I never gave any thought to getting older and retiring either. I was in the achievement-and-meeting modes. I was trying to do my best each day and to create opportunities for myself and for my family. It is safe to say after awhile, I was in the meeting mode. I was creating a meeting, going to a meeting or wanting a meeting. I was on the run! I couldn’t stop and I wouldn’t stop.

During my work life, I was always focused. As I was coming of age, I saw people that had retired, but I really didn’t pay much attention to it. Upon reflection now, there were many things that passed under my radar screen.

Many of us who are retired didn’t really have an age timeframe to retire. I didn’t think, I’ll retire at 55 years of age or 60 years of age. I was still feeling good and still rumbling. Quite honestly, retirement didn’t enter my mind. Besides, what would I do each day? So, I kept going and having fun at what I was doing.

I always remarked to people without them inquiring that I had the greatest job in America. Being in education for as long as I was gave me a front row seat to America’s future.

With gratitude and humility, I was in a small way able to shape the minds and hearts of some of today’s leaders. Education, in my opinion, is one of the few fields where you can have a direct impact on the future. There are still many times when I say to students that if you want to change the world, then become a teacher. If you want to blaze a trail, then become a teacher.

Many of us have stories about how we pushed and persuaded others and changed lives. We invested in our communities and they invested in us. I always say that people don’t want to know how much you know until they know how much you care.

Like many of you, I am happily retired. Since I retired, a few opportunities have come my way, but I have quickly said no to them. I just have no interest in working again as my brain is in a relaxed mode. I am happy that I don’t have to give answers to anyone or to be anywhere at a specific time. When you are in the stew, you don’t realize how deep.

Some years ago, I joined AARP. By the way, you must be at least 50 years of age. The most important feature of AARP in my opinion is they give you information about being a senior citizen and how to continue to lead a productive life. Its membership is in the millions.

It was estimated according to the 2017 census, there were 47 million senior citizens. By the year 2060, it is estimated there will be 95 million senior citizens. 

We have a great opportunity to weigh in on matters at all levels. It is important that our voices be heard. We have lived long enough and have done enough to have our opinions matter. When we see something wrong, we must do our best to make it right. We are living in times when our wisdom can make a difference.

I believe that smart leaders want to hear from us. The new school does need the old school. Let us enjoy our time. We have paid our dues so let’s use our chips.

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