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“Quality Of Life”

January 28, 2023

By Kimmy Foulds

Perceiving someone’s point of view can be a learning process with passion and strengthened in predicaments involving one’s pride to sustain happiness to evolve in grateful humbleness and thankfulness.

As an inspiring mind of a devoted Californian educator, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus ignited and imagined empathy throughout her professional and personal life to sense other people’s emotions with compassion. She was compelled to make powerful impacts in education as the first woman high school principal in California and was the creator of the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA).

After receiving a phone call from a neighbor asking to check on an elderly woman in the 1950s, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus discovered a despaired retired teacher of hardship living in a Chicken Coop and “great wealth in spirit with little in the purse.”

Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus described that rainy day she visited a fellow teacher who took shelter in a backyard. “I knocked on the sagging door of the windowless shed and assured the answering voice that I had come to say ‘Howdy’—one teacher to another—and I asked if I might not come in. I waited for the door to open and when it did, my hostess slipped through and closed the door behind her. Stockily built, with short grey hair, in an old coat much the worse for both age and wear, a woman withered of skin, with sunken cheeks but with the bluest and merriest of eyes, she looked me over — smiling at me, putting me at my ease, while she inquired of my errand. ‘Just a friendly visit,’ I said and I told her my name. Curiously enough, she knew it and more curiously, I recognized hers when she told me it and recalled her reputation as a Spanish teacher of some distinction.”

The woman relayed her gripping story and the riveting reality that she courageously dropped from her friends’ sight and memory. Touched and determined by the circumstances of this retired teacher living in a Chicken Coop due to the lack of options for seniors, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus restored this lady’s well-being and started the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) in 1958 with the mission to improve the quality of life for the aging. Her vision changed America’s image of retirement by providing senior citizens dignity and resourceful opportunities for self-respect.

Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus has been renowned on The Extra Mile—Points of Light Volunteer Pathway as part of a memorial in Washington D.C., which is an international nonprofit volunteer organization. Located adjacent to the White House, the monument is composed of bronze medallions honoring outstanding people who “through their caring and personal sacrifice, reached out to others, building their dreams into movements that helped people across America and throughout the world.”

As societies turn older in time and wiser with age, the lovely quotes from Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus become a reminder to keep joy in the heart and look at the bright side of situations no matter how desolate.

In the culture of caring and giving “To serve and not to be served” and “What we do we do for all” resonate with potent meaningful words to abide by with high esteem.

Embracing people in need are uplifting results for both the giver and receiver when properly identified and placed. Believing in God and understanding with gracious faith within, can be outwardly and proudly lived in a palace or a shed.

Reflect, from sunrise to sunset.

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Graciously thanking everyone with grateful appreciation expressed.

Looking forward to virtually meeting and getting to know you!