4    Nov 20111 comment

Over 70? Join in the NY Times Life Report

Respecting our elders is a cornerstone of society. Regardless of the next leap in technology or society's next flight of fancy, we always look to our seniors for inspiration, wisdom and their stories.

That is precisely why New York Times columnist David Brooks is asking for people over 70 to write a brief report of their lives so far. Brooks plans to write several columns about the submissions he receives and intends to publish the best essays.

This is a chance for seasoned genealogists to turn a critical eye to their personal history.

Although Brooks insists that taking a step back from our lives and trying to form a complete picture is an important aspect of the exercise, he believes that the essays will be most useful for the young:

“Young people are educated in many ways, but they are given relatively little help in understanding how a life develops, how careers and families evolve, what are the common mistakes and the common blessings of modern adulthood. These essays will help them benefit from your experience.”

Said writings strike me as something that could be passed down through the generations of your family. Imagine having such a document from your ancestors; we could all benefit from learning their regrets and achievements in an attempt to re-align our own expectations of life and, indeed, our ambitions.

Why not take some time to write down your successes, regrets and lessons along the way- This exercise could turn out to be quite therapeutic for your soul.

Brooks is accepting submissions to his email: dabrooks@nytimes.com. Read his complete column here.

Have a lovely weekend.

Search for your ancestors:

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  1. My husband and I lived, for forty-one years, on the Ft. Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona. My husband began teaching in a self-contained classroom at the Whiteriver Jr. High School and later taught at Alchesay High School, as the physical education and health instructor and also coached football, baseball and girls basketball. Following his retirement, he returned part time to teach physical education in two different elementary schools.

    After our yougest of four children began school, I returned to work as a classroom teacher in the White Mountain Apache Head Start Program. A few years later I became the coordinator of several programs there. I then worked the remaining years as social worker in a public school and adult education instructor for Northland Pioneer College.

    After I retired, we returned, for ten years, to Whiteriver to provide language assessments to the public schools there.

    This was a remarkable experience for our family. We raised four children on the reservation and we and our children believe that this formed their lives in a very unique and valuable way.

    Even though we no longer live there, our friendships and memories with the Apache people will last a lifetime.

    The Apache's are a proud and loving people, wanting to improve themselves and their tribe, even though the tribe, as a whole, is struggling.

    We now are enjoying our children and thirteen grandchildren and are involved in community service, discussion groups and loving life.

    Making the decision to live on a reservation has molded our life, our philosophy of mind/body connections and our faith in many ways.

    We feel very blessed that we lived a very unique life and are grateful for the opportunity that few have experienced.

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