January 28, 2023

You’re Never too Old for Desire, a Dream, a Vision

National Geographic has a new movie out called “The First Grader,” a remarkable story about an 80 year old Kenyan who refused to accept he was too old to learn how to read.

Here’s a YouTube video about The First Grader:

“In a small, remote, mountaintop primary school in the Kenyan bush, hundreds of children are jostling for a chance for the free education newly promised by the Kenyan government. One applicant causes astonishment when he knocks on the door of the school. He is Maruge (Oliver Litondo), an old Mau Mau veteran in his 80s, who is desperate to learn to read at this late stage of his life. He fought for the liberation of his country and now feels he must have the chance at the education so long denied—even if it means sitting in a classroom alongside six-year-old children.”

You’re never too old to

Try out  for the major leagues like Jim “The Rookie” Morris. From his website:

“To motivate his rag tag high school baseball team, Jim, as a 35-year-old schoolteacher, made a bet that he would try out for the big leagues if his team won a district championship. When Jim’s team won, he followed through on his promise, going to a tryout where he threw 12 consecutive pitches at 98 mph! Three months later in front of family and his high school team, Jim achieved his dream of pitching in the big leagues by striking out the first hitter he faced. That’s what Jim Morris accomplished and—it doesn’t matter who you are—we can all relate to fulfilling our goals and dreams. Jim Morris’ story takes place on a baseball diamond, but it’s really about life.”

Run a marathon like India’s Fauja Singh who was born in 1911 and didn’t start running until he was 81.

Box for a world championship. From the Japan Times, a story about Yoshinori Nishizawa, still fighting with desire, a dream, a vision:

Japan Times: Barbara Bayer photo

First paragraph in the Japan Times story, written by Barbara Bayer:

“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: A desire, a dream, a vision . . . . They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”

Those are the words of Muhammad Ali, but they could have just as easily been the words of Yoshinori Nishizawa, Japan’s oldest active boxer, who at the age of 45 continues in pursuit of his dream — “to be world champion.”

Be a warrior and patriot. From the Stars & Stripes, a story about Major Steve Hutchison, the oldest soldier to be killed in Iraq:

“BASRA, Iraq — Steven Hutchison wanted to be a grunt again. He wanted to help train Iraqi infantry units. He wanted back in the fight.

He called the Army and told them he’d like to rejoin. They’d take him, but they wanted him to do a year with a headquarters unit in Afghanistan before going back to infantry.

So the Army sent Maj. Steven Hutchison, at age 59, to Afghanistan for a year so that, at 60, he could go to Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan.”

Work for the oldest profession. England’s very own Milly Cooper, still working as a prostitute at the age of 96, made this complaint:

“Nowadays girls have big breasts, they are very thin and they walk around half naked. This industry has become dirtier. At least I keep my standards. I always dress up, and my clients are real gentlemen” Milly Cooper says.

Be a fan of life and baseball. Walter Breuning lived to be 114 and was a great baseball fan. He had this advice in an AP story:

“Embrace change, even when the change slaps you in the face. (‘Every change is good.’)

Eat two meals a day (‘That’s all you need.’)

Work as long as you can (‘That money’s going to come in handy.’)

Help others (‘The more you do for others, the better shape you’re in.’)

Then there’s the hardest part. It’s a lesson Breuning said he learned from his grandfather: Accept death.”

Dr. Weil’s health tip: be happy and live longer, according to research in Applied Psychology.



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