Older Americans Month Gives Tribute to Seniors

Older Americans Month Gives Tribute to Seniors

© GLOW IMAGES Models used for illustrative purposes

by Don Ingwerson

May is Older Americans Month! Throughout the year there are many weeks and months being celebrated for various reasons, but this particular tribute – to seniors – caught my attention because I have written about longevity and how it is tied to spirituality. Spiritual qualities like love, perseverance, and altruism show through clearly in the  many contributions seniors have made to society. In Older American Month: Deconstructing the Stereotype, the author gives examples of some women who made significant contributions in their later years. And the first person that she mentioned was Mary Baker Eddy:

 

“So many women much older than 65 have accomplished so much, and they didn’t do it from a nursing home. Mary Baker Eddy was 86 when she founded the Christian Science Monitor. Susan B. Anthony was in her 80s when she founded the International Woman Suffrage Alliance.

Folk artist Anna Mary Robertson Moses was an uneducated farm woman who began painting when her arthritic hands could no longer hold an embroidery needle. Grandma Moses first took up a brush at the age of 76 and painted nearly till her death at 101.

Doris Haddock (Granny D), who in 1999, at the age of 89, began walking the 3,200 miles between Los Angeles and Washington, DC, raised awareness of the need for campaign finance reform.

These are a few pieces of history we know, but each of us has our personal heroines, women we admire for their grace and grit, many of whom have gone where no modern woman can even imagine going.”

About the author

Don Ingwerson Don regularly blogs on health and spirituality and lives in Laguna Beach with his wife - both Christian Science practitioners. He brings his years serving the public in education to his work as a liaison of Christian Science, where he maintains contacts with the media and legislative offices.

Comments

  1. Belle says

    “The added wisdom of age and experience is strength, not weakness, and we should understand this, expect it, and know that it is so, then it would appear.” Mary Baker Eddy

  2. bill priest says

    Noel Johnson at age 70 started training for the Senior Olympics and proceded to win the Marathon every four years in his age class until he was over 90. He started his own bee pollen company at age 80. He was on To Tell the Truth, David Letterman, and Conan O’Brien as a TV guest. He wrote a book “A Dud at 70, a stud at 80. He was a guest of the King of Thailand for a week. In short, God doesn’t tell us to give up, but press on and express him. Noel, wasn’t a Christian Scientist, but he had been a prize fighter as a youth and a trainer of boxers. He had a fighting attitude about health. He was in poor shape at 70 and decided to do something constructive with his body and his life. Christian Scientists can take heart from this experience.
    Bill Priest

  3. Mary Lou MacKenzie says

    Thank you for this post. It’s wonderful to see Mary Baker Eddy and The Christian Science Monitor at the top of the list.

    I just finished reading a book about Alice Herz-Sommer, a holocaust survivor, who passed away recently at the age of 108. Her goal for each day, besides making music, was to see good all around her. What an inspiration.

  4. Rhonda says

    I read the article that was mentioned in the blog “In Older American Month: Deconstructing the Stereotype.” Loved the examples sited and the reminder to cherish our “older” Americans and not stereotype them. Our elders love to talk about their past…my goal now is to ask them about it and just sit and listen! I love Mary Baker Eddy’s statement in “Science and Health with key to the Scriptures,” where she states, “Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight.” (=

  5. Anne Hughes says

    When my first husband passed on, someone pointed out Mary Baker Eddy’s statement, “The encumbering mortal molecules, called man, vanish as a dream; but man born of the great Forever, lives on, God-crowned and blest.”
    Knowing that about my husband was a comfort, but then suddenly I realized that I am “God-crowned and blest” right here, right now, as well. Knowing this releases us from beliefs of aging and decline. Each of us is “born of the great Forever.” The people mentioned above are proof of this. Thanks for the post!

  6. Anne says

    I was amused to read Sheila Velazquez’ comment in her article where she described “…a sweet granny puttering in her garden or knitting socks….” I wondered if that could be me! You see, I love to garden and I also knit, but not socks. However, I’ve never thought of myself as a “sweet granny.” So I think it’s important not to stereotype ourselves or fall into the habit of thinking we’re limited at any stage of life.

    Reading about men and women who have accomplished great deeds in their mature years always gives a boost of encouragement. They’ve demonstrated the possibility of doing outstanding things by using their long developed intelligence, wisdom, and creativity, their God-given abilities. And in many cases their efforts have blessed humanity.

    I agree that longevity is tied to spirituality, and there’s plenty of proof of that fact. Thank you for the reminder.

  7. Pamela says

    What a great blog and thanks for sharing this. “Age is nothing more than a number” and those exact words I hear from people at the “Y” where I swim, I hear it from people who I talk to standing in line at the grocery store, I hear that statement all the time and it is wonderful to see the people saying it are mostly the ones with white hair. Hooray! These people are happy, active and vibrant and how wonderful that mankind is waking to see the truth in that statement.

  8. sue says

    Spirituality is indeed tied to longevity as another commenter mentioned. Everyday we see examples of the vitality, action and cheerful attitudes of people all around us. We each need to strive to live those spiritual qualities daily and let it “ripple” throughout the community. It is important that we do not stereotype anyone with the limits of time but see the good blossoming in each one of us. We have lots of examples of people doing good at each level of experience. “Progress is the law of God” , good as is mentioned by Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health. Thank you for sharing this article.