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September 02, 1988 - Image 109

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-09-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

help people prepare their tax
returns, or joined her favorite
political party, or even acted
as a docent in a museum. Sal-
ly had failed to prepare for
retirement as a new phase of
her life, distant from her past,
and thus she had succumbed
to the lure of an alien group.
Volunteer work is only one
avenue, however, through
which retirees can escape
from boredom. Adopting a
hobby or practicing a craft
can lead to equally high
satisfaction. Harrison E.
Salisbury, author, foreign cor-
respondent and New York
Times editor, still writing and
editing enthusiastically, al-
though he is in his eighties
and wears a pacemaker, ex-
plains, "The better you are at
your craft, the less likely you
will want to give it up."
Poor health can also turn
retirement into a nightmare.
A recent Louis Harris survey
has found that 67 percent of
people over 65 suffer from
poor health. Nevertheless,
there are ways to cope. Based
on his own experience, B. F.
Skinner, professor emeritus of
psychology at Harvard Uni-
versity, advises individuals to
accommodate their imme-
diate environment to their im-
perfections. Those who have
begun to forget where they
put things, for example,
might learn from the blind
that everything must be kept
in its right place. And those
who cannot hear might install
a light that flashes when the
doorbell or telephone rings.
Retirees might also substi-
tute new interests for those
which poor health prevents
them from pursuing. If they
cannot see well, they can still
play a musical instrument. If
they cannot hear well, they
can still paint or sculpt. And
if arthritis has crippled their -
fingers, they can still study
art history, anthropology, or
learn a new language.
The marvel of retirement is
that it can open up a new
world of alternate paths.
Although the new world is
sometimes lonely and often
restricted by physical in-
capacities, once the retiree
learns to accept its limita-
tions, it can turn into the
most stimulating stage of a
person's life.
As Claude Pepper, U.S.
Congressman from Florida,
has said, "It's not how many
years you have left, but what
you do in them that counts."

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