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I've always been taught (or told) that I belong to the "Baby Boomer"
generation, a part of the large population born between 1946 and 1965.
That is a huge slice of the population and a large span of
years. Since then we've heard about "generation X",
"generation next", "generation lost" and so forth.
Jonathan Pontell has coined a term
for the group
born between 1954 to 1965 and coined the term "Generation Jones".
Hmmm, interesting. That puts me there (my birthday is in
December of 1955).
See more here.
You've heard the saying, "be nice to your kids, they will pick your
nursing home". Well, perhaps there's a grain of truth in that
along with a big dollop of sarcasm. However, when we age and
the time comes when we need to have assisted living or other care, it
is important for our children and their children to remember that the
great circle of life means we often become dependent on others - just
like when we were a small child.
A heartfelt slideshow titled Parent's
Wish can be viewed online here.
It is thoughtful and makes some good comparisons between
young and old.
Are you ready for Thanksgiving? The holiday is tomorrow and
it will be a time for family, a big meal and giving thanks for our many
blessings. I'm cooking a turkey and taking it over to the
family gathering. My wife, children and I will be with
grandparents, brothers, sisters and cousins. Here in New
Mexico we eat turkey, ham, stuffing and other traditional fare.
But, we will also have our chile! We like both red
May you enjoy a wonderful holiday. Remember to give thanks
for each other and maybe share a story or two, especially with younger
ones who need to know about your history.
Family gatherings at holidays are often times to share family history.
Television is taking this to a whole new level.
This month, they are encouraging viewers to take the
record some of their favorite family legends. They have also
gathered a special selection of shows focused on oral and
personal history. This includes "Grand Generation", by
Academy-Award-winning director Paul Wagner. Wagner, with
Steven Zeitlin and Marjorie Hunt of the Smithsonian Folklife Institute,
share interviews with Hispanic farmer Cleofes Vigil, civil rights
activist Rosina Tucker, Jewish baker Moishe Sacks, and other members
of an older and wiser generation. Each shares a unique
perspective on aging and gives important advice to those who follow.
Find out more at the website, www.rootstelevision.com.
Dr. Andrew Weil
is considered one of the foremost speakers and experts about aging and
how to live long and well. I've discussed frequently the
importance of creating an ethical
will. Now Dr. Weil is on record, too, about the
value of the ethical will - more
When you think about your life and your story one very powerful
reminiscence is "about the time you almost died". If you have
had a near death experience you know how it can frame your life in a
whole new way. It really puts living...and dying...in a new
Please don't wait until you are at death's door to consider passing on
the most important values and beliefs of your life to your loved ones.
The ethical will is just one way to do this and provide a
Peace begins with one person. Living what you do everyday.
Untold stories of kindness. The Perfection of
Character. These are all titles of stories submitted to "This
I Believe", essays of everyday people that you can read listed on National Public Radio's website.
It's a collaboration with Atlantic Public Media and This
I Believe, Inc. and is based on a 1950's radio show of the
There are some very interesting and moving stories for you to check
out. The goal of all these essays is people sharing their
beliefs and values - integral parts of personal histories and ethical wills.
Tomorrow (November 11) is the Veterans
Day national holiday, but since it falls on a Saturday
this year it is also being observed today.
Ever since 9-11-01 Veterans Day has also included recognition and
salutes to firefighters and law enforcement. Basically, this
holiday is about heroes. It is always sad and difficult when
there is war and our troops are called to serve in battle and the line
of fire. Even more difficult is the dealing with loss,
whether injury or death.
Last night I had the opportunity to meet a few fine women who are part
of the Rio Grande Valley chapter of the Blue Star Mothers, a
non-profit organization that supports the troops and family members in
a variety of ways, including sending care packages overseas to the
troops. I work for a radio station that helped with a
fundraiser at a local night club. I applaud this type of
service. Find out more about the Blue Star Mothers and maybe
a chapter near your at their web site, www.bluestarmothers.org.
If you are not familiar with the Veterans
History Project I urge you to find
out more about it. This national effort to capture the
personal stories of veterans, especially the aging vets from past wars,
is extremely important. We need to preserve these stories and
I have more information about the Veterans History Project posted here.
Tomorrow is an election day in the United States. The media
onslaught has been pretty intense. Countless commercials,
many of them negative attack ads, run one right after another on the
television. I've received a huge pile of direct mail.
And my phone is constantly ringing and I'm getting "voice
messages" from the governor, senators, mayor, past presidents (!) and
the candidates. Yes, marketing is a big time business in the
political campaign season.
Despite all this (which tends to numb the senses and maybe even create
a backlash against the election process) I know I should exercise my
write to vote. It is a privilege of a free and democratic
society. I wonder how many of those who serve in public
office have truly and honestly looked at their lives and their stories
and made an attempt to pass them on. I know they like to
write their "agenda" and publish it as their autobiography.
But I think one of the most beautiful things about personal
history is the opportunity to be honest, at least with ourselves.
Well, here we are in another new month. And this time of year
the days get shorter (literally for daylight hours unless you are in
the Southern Hemisphere), and time feels compressed. The
holidays and end of year projects - here they come!
Nevertheless, for the writer in us all each day is an opportunity to do
something with our craft. Have you ever wanted to write a
novel? It can be a hugely intimidating goal, but a worthy one
if you have a compelling story to get out. Perhaps you will
benefit from working on it with the motivation of others.
November is National
Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Join
thousands of others from across the USA and around the world as they
string words into sentences, sentences into chapters and chapters into
a 50,000-word novel—all in just 30 days. You can learn more