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From: Ray Anderson
Most of the show topics transcend time and space.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Hi Ray –
Most men can’t stand it. The average among us calls it quits just over two years after retirement.
I like Joseph Johnson. He was 94 when we did his story. I called every year thereafter just to say hello (and to ask, “Are you hanging in there?”).
At 98 he stopped driving. At 100, he was at his desk everyday, but handed the reigns over to his nephew. At 101, he had fallen asleep in his chair. He finally and graciously had caught up with his two children, a Harvard neurosurgeon at Mass General and the other on the faculty of Columbia School of Journalism (both died a few years before), and with his wife who had died 25 years before. He grew up at Wiley College in Texas where his mother was a cleaning lady. He is one of a few whose goal was to give away $1M a year when his gross ranged from $4-8 million.
Another one of our favorite role models is Ebby Halliday. She grew her business to over $3 billion in annual sales when she gave half of it away to her key employees. Since that time, she has given the rest of it away and the company has grown close to $7B in gross sales and she still goes into work everyday at the age of 96!
If work is understood be to the creation of value, whether a product or service, then work is good. In my aging years, I also believe that life itself can be defined by the value we bring into it. Little value, little return.
Let's do something with the AARP membership and all the folks among us baby-boomers to be sure that we do not jump out of the workforce because of some archaic notion that "work is bad and retirement is good" when it is obvious that the inverse is true when you are working toward your own goals and visions.
Be well, and let's talk about this further,