From LAFF’s Archive: Consolations of Retirement
The late F. Champion Ward, who worked in a variety of positions at the Ford Foundation from 1954 to 1977, including as a vice president for education, wrote the following waggish item about life after retirement for the Fall 1994 issue of LAFF’s newsletter.
If you’re blessed with descendants whose good opinion you cherish, it’s best not to try to keep up to date. An effort to be “with it” is sure to fail and will only embarrass the next two generations, particularly your grandchildren, who rather count on you to remind them of times when there was no faxing and, as they like to believe, people helped each other through the Great Depression.
You are also free to reminisce…gaze back on…the worlds you’ve lived in, the events you’ve witnessed, what you did or tried to do, the friends and family you’ve had, and see what, on reflection, you made of it all….
Be kind: When the excuse of being too busy is no longer available, there is time to be nice to people. After years of disuse, being thoughtful may be difficult at first. But gradually you will find time and inclination to visit the sick, help the poor, resume old and half-forgotten friendships, answer letters of limited importance and support good causes.
Be amused: ….Age helps us to recognize and accept our modest place in the human comedy and thus spares us and those we care about the unrelieved solemnity that so often attends old age.