News & Updates
August 2022

A Few Words from Our MASWA President
Recognizing the Value of the Journey

We enter into this journey called life with the basics we need. Throughout the journey we use those “basics” to help us navigate opportunities and obstacles thus carving a path we create on our own. As the path is carved, many decisions, both conscious and unconscious, are made. As a result, much is experienced and learned along the way. These experiences, learnings and how they affect our actions cause our lives to differ in many ways. We gain wisdom. That’s what makes us all such powerfully interesting contributors to this world and its history! Why not recognize and celebrate this journey called life?

Whether young, middle-aged or older, we have our lives to celebrate. Just the pure chance to live a life, should be celebrated. We are breathing! With each breath we take, we should be grateful for the opportunity to take this journey. The longer the journey, the more smooth or rough roads we travel. That needs to be recognized. As a way to celebrate, in 1988 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed August 21st National Senior Citizens Day. It is a day to reflect on all that people on the longest journeys have contributed and accomplished. Since different paths are carved, varying stories can be told. The essence of those stories is the passion with which life is lived.

My grandmother was an admired pillar of strength in her community. She was a passionate teacher with an advanced degree. She has a notable list of students who had the chance to go through, learn and be influenced in her captivating classes. She listened more than she spoke but when she spoke, people gathered around her. Her wisdom enamored her listeners. Words of wisdom that continue to stick are: “Send out bread and it will come back buttered”, she’d say. She sustained a very challenging journey yet she gave in to kindness and it treated her well. Growing up around positive and loving role models enhances one’s life. Her journey was well over 105 years.

As the journey progresses, much wisdom is hopefully secured that may be passed on to future travelers. No matter what is experienced throughout the journey, those experiences have value to others, if shared. Following is a popular story of how we need to remember our value and to stick with it.

“At the beginning of a new school year, a teacher stood up in front of her students holding a $100 bill. She asked them to put their hands up if they wanted it. Every hand in the room went up. The teacher then said that she was going to give the money to someone in the class. However, first she took the bill and crumpled it up in her hands before asking the class who still wanted it. The hands stayed up. The teacher then dropped the bill on the floor, stomped and crushed it into the ground, and picked it back up. She then asked how many still wanted it. The hands stayed up. She then announced, “Class, I hope you see the lesson here. It didn’t matter what I did to this money, you still wanted it because its value remained the same. Even with its creases and dirtiness, it’s still worth $100.”

It’s the same with us. There will be similar times in our lives when we are dropped and bruised. Yet no matter what happens, we never lose our value. The wisdom gained on those well-traveled roads of life has value for others. That’s worthy of recognition. Those who are far along on their journey need to be applauded for the wisdom they’ve gained and shared, for the contributions they’ve made to our circumstances, and for the patience they’ve shown as they continue to travel along life’s way. We may let life take us in countless directions however, wherever we land along the way, we must do it with grace and humility. There’s value in what we do every day to help those who’ve made long strides along their journey. There’s value in that journey’s wisdom. May we take the time to learn from them.

Let’s discuss what we’ve learned, how we can better serve and how we can work learn from each other. Let’s take time to celebrate the journey! Come join your professional colleagues at our Summer Social and our September Meeting . See you then!

Georgene Connelly
MASWA President