It’s Sunday afternoon and I was twerked off because I needed to travel for work. Again. I just returned home Thursday and here I was, just two days later, headed for Atlanta and the AARP Annual Life@50 event. I have been to Atlanta in the past, but hadn't really experienced much of the city. Once there, despite my reticence, I decided to use the opportunity to explore.
Watching coverage of the 50th Anniversary Dr. King’s, “I have a dream speech” brought a flood of memories and reflection. I was 6 years old when Dr. King gave that speech. I was a long way from DC and a long way from understanding the significance of Dr. King’s speech. In 1963 I think I knew two African Americans and one Hispanic boy in school, my world was pretty homogenized. I did have some grasp of diversity because my folks were from Germany and my dad was the coach of a local soccer team. Through the team I met many families from all over Europe, Central and South America, Asia and Africa. On the weekends the team would gather to play the international game. Following the game the families would picnic together and share the common joy of the game and a few beers. Then we would retreat to our neighborhoods. Mine was mostly white and working middle class. The march on Washington did not become real for me until I grew older. The speech is seen as a moment that has shaped modern America; I know it shaped me even if I didn’t realize it at the time. I was always a dreamer and to this day believe in dreams. I think that’s what dreams are meant to do-- take us places.
In mid-August I celebrated 20 years working at AARP. Twenty years?! Really? On September 11 th I turned 56 years old. Wow. As I reflect on these milestones I realize I’m right smack dab in the middle of two groups that AARP is focused on. Age-wise I’m part of the Boomer generation. My generation has changed every American institution it has touched and now as a group we are changing how we age. As a worker, I have begun to feel the tugs of what’s next with my career - is there something else I want to do? Life Reimagined if you will?
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