Seniors: Boredom is Unnecessary

Sep 2nd, 2010 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Over the past month, I have found myself raiding my bookshelves for things I either haven’t ever read or haven’t read in a very long time.  What I discovered was a collection of wonderful local historical accounts dealing with both the great and small of the town and county where I grew up.  I am amazed at my ignorance.  I am saddened that so much time has past and I have not grasped the extraordinary history of my ordinary home town.  It is full of treasured tales and heroes and heroines, old and valuable structures that played a part in the early life of this community.  Most of it has been out there, all along, just being taken for granted.   How sad! 

In San Francisco recently, we took advantage of a City Tour of one of the prominent buildings of old San Francisco.  The guides are well trained volunteers who love their town.  They want to share that love with others.  Couldn’t that be the case of almost any town of almost any size?  Docents and guides are people who share the energy and inspiration of what makes a community vital.  There is no reason to complain of boredom or allege there is nothing to do.  Why every community is a treasure house of well hidden stories and unknown accounts of events and personalities whose particular contribution is just waiting to be told. 

Some complain, particularly in smaller towns, that the young folk don’t come back.  Why should they?  No one ever taught them about the uniqueness of the place that has made them who they are.  Some communities commiserate that their town has nothing unique to offer.  Spend some time in the library or the archives of the court house or city hall, there are liable to be mysteries there waiting to unfold.

Holidays and vacations aren’t necessarily for going somewhere else.  Find out the people whose notable contributions have never been lauded.  Maybe some of the heroes are now deceased, but go about uncovering those who might be aware of their quiet, humble history.  This may open up, like the blossoming of a beautiful rose, into something never envisaged before. 

If nothing else, start with a collection of old newspapers from your local paper’s archives.  Flip through until that sudden awareness strikes you that there is a story here.   Allow yourself the experience of discovering something no one ever quite caught on to before.  Give yourself the chance for some a-ha moments that may bring others to an appreciation of their community they never had before. Likely, the ripples from your curiosity will spread to others.  Likely, whatever had you anchored down to your favorite chair will nudge you up and out and away.  Likely, your world will become suddenly larger.

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