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The real value of senior citizens
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By Daniela Navarro

In 1988 Ronald Regan signed off August 21st as National Senior Citizen Day. It is a day to honor and recognize the senior citizens in our communities.

Unfortunately, oftentimes there is a very negative stereotype placed on seniors regarding their cognitive and physical abilities. But looking back on history, this stereotype is very unreal.

Take a look at seniors, who many refer to as late bloomers, who have made some of the greatest contributions.

Colonel Sanders is one great example. He did not create his finger-licking good recipes until he was 50, he then opened Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise stores at 62. However, he never reached fame until he sold the company at 75. Likewise, Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart when he was 44.

Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book when she was 65. Dame Judi Dench began her career in movies at the age of 61. Coco Chanel finally took hold of her fashion empire at 85.

Peter Roget finished the very helpful thesaurus once he was 73 and James Parkinson identified Parkinsonís disease at 62. Even Charles Darwin never published his book, ĎOn the Origin of Species,í until after age 50.

While many seniors decided to take the creative route, others decided to try something new.

Former Kenyan midwife, Priscilla Sitienei, began for elementary school at age 90, alongside her great-great grandchildren.

The well-known Grandma Moses didnít begin painting until she was 78, and Julia Child didnít learn to cook until the age of 40, began her show at 50 and a baking show at 84.

With age, more experiences one has, comes with more knowledge and more wisdom. This calls for wisely created opportunities for communities.

The stereotype placed on seniors is not only negative but untrue. Seniors often begin new hobbies, make new friends, and discover new places. Retirement does not mean to stop living, but gives room for continued growth.





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