This I Believe

Entered on February 3, 2007
Age Group: 65+
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At 73 years of age I continue to believe I have an obligation to give back to my family, community and beyond. To accomplish this I must continue to learn.

From my 4 married sons I am learning how their responsibilities and parental duties have changed significantly from mine when my wife and I were raising them. We made mistakes and they still turned out to be great sons, husbands and fathers. Now I must sit back and watch them raise their families without interference from me. This is a job I am still learning how to do. It is teaching me patience, parental pride and an appreciation for how the responsibility for raising children has changed in the past 50 years.

For my community I find satisfaction in assisting non-profit organizations to develop strategic plans. Working with the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas I learned how people have come to the Dallas area seeking sanctuary and political asylum. The Neighborhood Service Council has shown me that 60+ different languages are spoken by immigrant children in the Richardson ISD and their need for an after school support program is absolutely necessary. I am still learning how to best serve this non-profit group.

The world is getting smaller and I hope my volunteering has helped shrink it. Upon retiring I submitted my resume to the International Executive Service Corp and have had assignments in Columbia, Mexico and Romania. These unpaid assignments assist businesses in general management and acting as a goodwill ambassador during the off-hours. It gave me the chance to explain what American’s really believe. I learned to appreciate even more the freedoms we enjoy in this country.

I have found yet another way to help shrink the world. My wife and I are members of the Friendship Force Club of Dallas. This is a people-to-people home hosting opportunity. Sitting around our kitchen table with new friends visiting from Australia, Germany, Peru, Japan, Russia or India has taught me that we have much in common with people from all over the world. In addition, our club provides free rebuilt computers for visually deficient children across the world. I have been involved in providing computers to Peru, Romania and Palestine. This has expanded my understanding of these people and their cultures.

Heck, I probably have 15 more learning years left in me. You are old when regrets take the place of dreams and I am still dreaming.