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Respect for our elders

Posted: December 16, 2013

It’s been particularly wonderful to have a week or two with so many public reflections on, and appreciation of, the life of Nelson Mandela.  He is the quintessential example of strength, patience and wisdom.  There are so many fantastic writings and speeches, but I picked one for this blog entry.

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

I see the people who work at JCHE living this imperative every day.  Society is so willing to minimize the potential contributions of older adults, and many feel marginalized.  Not so if you live with us, where we encourage people to pursue new and old interests, take risks and feel comfortable, engage fully with neighbors and make new friends.

While that may sound trite, it’s not when it’s the guiding principle of daily work.  By respecting every one of our treasured elders and working to remove barriers to their pursuit of their own happiness, we can enhance their freedom and extend the options they have.  We’re hoping to broaden our own work in the coming year to spread that message broad and wide.

We certainly got inspiration from Mandela’s life and now in the public honoring of his death.

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