Think again. I was fortunate enough at the last election to be re-elected to my local school district Board of Trustees. This is my sixth term. That’s a long time to be “getting older. ” I was not a spring chicken when I got elected the first time. This election was after my 93rd birthday. Not only did I win, but I received the highest number of votes of six candidates. I am humbled and grateful. Folks at the local level know the motivation of their local folks running for office. It matters.
“ Our attitude about serving is truly not a matter of age. It is a matter of how we choose to live our lives. Any age is ripe for service or not. If we get up every morning with the idea hat we want to make a difference, the choice has been made. If we wake up every morning grateful for the gifts and talents that we have been given, we will use them in positive ways. We will be ready when opportunities present themselves. We will carve out time to do things that many never “have tome to do.” We will govern our day, each day, with a set of values and principles that seek the joy, the grace, the positive in seeking to serve.
In the years I have served on the School Board, I have often been “reminded “of the thankless task it is.” Sometimes it heads in that direction if I forget for a moment why I am serving. It can never be thankless if a policy or decision makes a difference in one kid’s life. If my continued willingness to serve, to make tough decisions (sometimes unpopular ones), to show courage and commitment in all I do, my presence will be worth it. When the teachers, parents, and learners see my passion for a school system that serves them, they will trust and commit to the process of making it better.
Often I hear the expression, “I’m just too old.” And there are various endings to this expression: to start something new; to learn to use the computer; to care; I did my share; to make a difference. I will admit that the American culture often appears to put older people on the shelf, in the rocking chair, or pretend that those older folk are in a blissful state of retirement. But I think our nation needs the wisdom of its seniors. Our local institutions need the informed service that seniors can bring. Our young need the mentors and models that we can be.
If you think you’re too old, think again.