Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Second Act

The other day at work, a woman came in and bought a pair of jeans.  They were a very hip, skinny jean treated with a sparkly taupe color.  Of all the things there were to choose from that is the last thing I thought she'd buy, but she had plans for those jeans and a New Year's Eve party.

She was 91.

Last week our local paper had a story about a woman who was a customer where I used to work.  In a conversation I had with her I found out she volunteered in the inner city.  The program is called The Front Porch Alliance and Betty is one of a group of people who developed and has fostered a partnership with the residents of this low income area.  They provide tutors for school-age kids, home repairs, fitness and gardening classes as well as counseling on finances - particularly payday loans that target these neighborhoods.  She has been a fixture there for years.

Betty is a grandmother many times over.

Today's paper had a story on SueEllen Fried.  Ms Fried has made it her life's work to educate kids about bullying.  She is a rock star in this area and if you ever heard her speak (like I did several years ago) you would not forget her message.  Empathy, kids, you've got it.  Use it, stand up for each other.  Don't let one kid attack another and do nothing.  You are not helpless.  You have a voice.  Besides working in schools, she started another program in prisons.  Nearly every person behind bars has been a victim of physical, verbal and/or sexual abuse.  The anger that rages from them has everything to do with these unaddressed issues.  This program teaches them how to recognize and address those feelings so that they don't resort to violence.  Inmates who have attended 60+ hours of this program have a recidivism rate of 8%.

SueEllen is 80.

Earlier this month when Nancy Pelosi was introducing dozens of new congresswoman, Luke Russert asked her to address concerns that she was too old to be the minority leader again and that perhaps it was time she stepped aside for someone younger. 

The woman who is the same age as Harry Reid and two years older than Mitch McConnell could barely hide her disdain.........for the kid with the last name that opened the reporter door was painfully ignorant of how confident women become when their first career was raising people.  

2 comments:

  1. Loved todays Blog ! Society seems to have a way of making a womans age the validation of her worth.
    We all go through the Seasons of life where youth is our friend and everything's rosey . Then we hit 60 and somehow we don't notice the wrinkles or the 2 size up in our jeans unless it is pointed out to us.
    Kudos to those lovely ladies that you have had the pleasure of meeting !
    Next Birthday is # 64 and I feel as if I am just getting started. The second chapter of my life. Thanks for sharing your Talent ! I think I shall swish my ponytail most of the day today ! :)

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  2. Woot, woot! Amen, sister. Never underestimate the power of a woman with a little up in her giddy. :)

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