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AARP AARP States New Hampshire Volunteering

Three Major Factors in a Good Life

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Written by AARP NH Volunteer Dane Peters

Helping others has been a major goal in my life. Raising a family, devoting five years to the Marine Corps, teaching, leading schools, serving on 12 non-profit boards, and volunteering throughout those 40 years prepared me well for helping others during my retirement years.

I am fortunate to be married to a wife who has the same helping-others goals, and after we help each other and our family, we have moved on to AARP and other non-profit organizations that help and guide its members. There are three major factors that we have subscribed to for ourselves so that we can continue to support AARP members and be models for others. Here are those three factors . . .

Nutrition is so important in how we take care of ourselves. Monitoring intake of salt, soda, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, and weight control are key ingredients in maintaining good health for ourselves, which enables us to be role models and active members of the AARP community.

Exercise helps us in many ways, including body agility and strength along with keeping body parts healthy and thriving.

Socializing with others is a critical factor for our mental development so we can better relate to others. For a large part of our lives, we have been geared to having and developing intelligence — homework, grades, reading, technology, etc. As I worked my way into the last 10 years of my career and now retirement, it has been a path from trying to have a strong IQ (Intelligence Quotient) in my work to building strong socialization for helping others to give me an inner strength for developing wisdom, mentoring various generations, all using strong emotional intelligence EI. Being a good listener and role model are big characteristics in developing strong relationships for ourselves and others — especially for our children and their children.

These three factors have been critical to being a good volunteer for AARP with its mission of “Empower people to choose how they live as they age”; its motto of “To serve, not be served”; and its vision of “A society in which all people live with dignity and purpose and fulfill their goals.”

Throughout our careers and life, my wife and I have devoted much of our volunteering time to AARP, and the best part is that we can do this together. Individually, we are helping those with food and housing insecurity, supporting veterans, and a love of reading to preschool children. All engagements have been very satisfying and life fulfilling.

Volunteering and helping others enrich lives in many ways to give us a good life. One of the best books I have read is The Good Life by Robert Waldinger and Marc Schultz. They emphasize how happiness comes about by helping others to bring them to a good life.

Having been volunteering with AARP since 2016 and how it takes such good care of its volunteers has been an ongoing joy to our own lives . . . so much so, I look forward to writing about our experiences with AARP members in the past and going forward in the future.

To learn more about volunteering with AARP NH, click here.

For AARP volunteering resources, click here.

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