So it's probably my last. Yet, who knows? And I feel a lot wiser, in part, because I learned from thousands of young people around the world in my previous four efforts (here is my previous AMA). Perhaps it's because of age and the claustrophobic condition of the pandemic I ponder more than I ever have before the condition of the world I am leaving for the next generation, a generation I have committed my life to professionally and personally.On the surface I have reason for despair! I've endured depressions, wars, horrors of commission and oppression. Yet I've also taken heart by the progress I have seen in my lifetime. The arc of progress spoken of by King in the fields of race and sexual orientation have far exceeded anything I might have anticipated.However: the last three years have shaken my confidence. Trump's vitriolic leadership has brought to the surface a flood of festering wounds. A nation that could previously be united in the face of adversity has become further divided.But thankfully my optimism has been rekindled. I truly believe that King's Justice Arc was fueled by the optimism of youth coupled with the wisdom of those who have endured suffering and the vicissitude of aging. As a part of that, I have countenanced gradualism as I pointed to the progress in my lifetime from the Jim Crow, homophobic society I thought would never change.I ADMIT I WAS WRONG. NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE LONG OVER-DUE CHANGES, IMMEDIATELY, TO REALIZE THE PROMISE SPOKEN OF FOR ALL BY OUR FOUNDERS.In acknowledging the leadership of youth, I feel compelled to share the insights I have gained from my experiences coupled with the wisdom I have gained recently from weekly meetings for three years from sage retirees.Can it really be true that we privileged whites have FINALLY seen the suffering that we have wrought on “the other?” However I still look to the future with some trepidation. NEVER have I seen such polarization. The past three years have disclosed hatred and vitriol with little success in moving toward a common acceptance of the lofty statements of our founding creeds. While we have FINALLY come to realize the staggering discrepancy in wealth in our society, SELF-CENTEREDNESS and human greed seem to prohibit us from pursuing reasonable solutions.My fear for the future is finding that common source of strength to permit us to work together toward the goals that were so lofty expanded when our nation was founded. What led us to boast of American exceptionalism and creating Shining cities on a hill?George Santayana's quote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” comes to my mind as I ponder the exciting future that the present protests promise. And I marvel that it seems to have been nourished and sustained by young people.So, I truly look forward to conversations with more of you, and I invite you to Ask Me Anything.Proof: https://imgur.com/xiScZ8G📷ReplyForward

Comments: 148 • Responses: 61  • Date: 

bingoflaps22 karma

Based on the first few sentences, it sounds like you’ve come to terms with mortality. Was it a difficult path to acceptance or did it come easy for you? Any anxiety associated with the finite nature of our time here or have you found peace with it?

dcretiree36 karma

OMG, I love a question like this. I'd like to meet you so we could have a chat. What's not to face in mortality. Death is a part of life, and in the natural course of nature it is inevitable. I'll be beyond pain and suffering, I trust. My only regret is that I won't be here to console those who may regret my "passing" Has anyone ever failed?

Good question and I regret we can't have a
serious intellectual religious discussion and those two terms are not mutually exclusive.

bingoflaps6 karma

Thank you for the thoughtful reply! It’s certainly refreshing to hear that you’re accepting without much reservation and that you have few regrets in that regard. As a 31 year old, it’s tough to grasp that I’ve likely lived 1/3 of my life already. Especially since the first 1/3 went by so quickly, I’m not sure 2 more of those will cut it. I struggle with accepting the inevitable. I liken it to being locked inside of a moving vehicle on a fatal crash course with a wall. Can’t stop the car, can’t slow it down, can’t jump out. Just have to make the best of the car ride until impact. However, hearing your perspective definitely gives me hope that this is a fluid discussion and my attitude will hopefully change as I live a fulfilling life. Happy to talk life and religion with you if I’m ever in DC or if you’re ever in NYC!

airhoodz3 karma

This is funny because I’m also 31 and I sent a screenshot of your question and his reply to my mom. That’s always so profound to me. I can’t grasp the idea of a world where I am ready to go. I am an atheist, so that probably has something to do with it, but I’ve asked atheists the same question and they echo the same response.

I just can’t comprehend it.

dcretiree2 karma

I'm really puzzled by this line of questioning. And I wish I could invite you all from New York and other places to pursue it in depth. Who Do we think we are to be priviledged to have EVERY experience? I feel I have been blessed and thankful for those that I have had and the ability to find others to talk with about them. Now I will go to the next question in this line up.You see, by definition of God by most people I am also an atheist. But elsewhere in this stream of consciousness of mine. I have my own definition of God and it is akin to Nature. I guess I feel I have had my turn and am ready to make room for someone in this crowded world.

bingoflaps2 karma

It’s not meant for us to comprehend yet. I used to look at middle aged people and think, “I could never be like that. How could you prioritize x over y?” And here I am as a former meathead just skipping the gym everyday. Or favoring comfort and practicality over fashion. I’m not fat, but I’ve definitely lost 40 lbs of muscle and doing absolutely nothing to stop that loss. Never in a million years could you convince 20 year old me that the tide would turn for me. I couldn’t imagine a life where I don’t have an hour to spare each day to workout. But here we are.

I imagine the same thing will happen with this dying thing. As we hit more milestones and check things off our lists, we will feel more fulfilled and have fewer reservations about dying. I’m hoping at 90 I’ll just be happy about the impact I’ve had on my kids and their kids and just be ready to go knowing I lived a complete life. Hopefully.

dcretiree2 karma

Beautiful. Couldn't have said it btter myself, meathead!

airhoodz2 karma

You’re probably right, but it still blows me mind every time haha.

Luckily (hopefully) we can check back in 63 years and see if we both get there. We can have a cold one in Ron’s honor too, or like whatever wild new mind altering VR substance we visually ingest.

We’ll get there. We gotta.

dcretiree2 karma

What a great idea. I'd like to send you my grandchildren's email addresses, but I've been taught that might be risky. I know they would love to share stories about their weird grandfather. Love talking to you guys especially now that I have figured out again how to use my Dragon dictation machine. I was wearing out my arthritic fingers.

charanbobby2 karma

Add me to the list, another 31 year old. 31 year olds assemble here

dcretiree4 karma

OMG. I must be getting old. I have grandchildren older than you, and my youngest of nine is a senior at the University of Michigan. My heart bleeds for the uncertain future young people face. My advice to them would be, "think of it not as problems but as opportunities in a new world." Or is that polyanniesh or what they do anyway?

dcretiree2 karma

I guess it is becausae I am by nature an ooptimist. Sure there are countries I will never visit, things I would like to know and experience. But I CAN READ AND EXPERIENCE JOY, NEW LEARNING EVERY DAY. I just had a bad meal the other day when I was alone and I thought, I'll bet this would taste good to a survivor of the Holocaust. Am I morbid or something to think that way?

Boddhisavant1 karma

Great reply. Thanks for the AMA.

What’s the best thing about DC?

dcretiree3 karma

The opportunity for continuous learning. Like Politics and Prose Book Store that has a free author talk or more than one a day.

internet-mama17 karma

What are you grateful for today?

dcretiree50 karma

I really don't know where to begin. I have absolutely NOTHING to complain about even in this time of isolation, But taking my good health for granted I have to be most grateful for the situation I am in as an old, old individual, a loving family of 4 children and their spouses, nine grandchildren, a wife who joined us after my other died 26 years ago and a relatively sound mind that permits me to enjoy the present, look forward to tomorrow and look back on a satisfying career.

Is that okay for an off the top of my head testimonial.

mugfantoo12 karma

What was the most memorable news headline/story that you witnessed?

dcretiree33 karma

Tough to think about until I applied it personally. In in the late '60's I became principal of an 50/50 Black/White junior high school. Racist conditions were so intense that parents patrolled the hallways and the school principal was removed. I was desperate for a job having just resigned from a rather prestigious national education position in D. C. I went to the school with a progressive educational philosophy as an advocate for students. The headlines of the local newspaper after several months reported that some teachers and some parents desire to see me fired., I spent 14 memorable years until I retired as principal.

I contrast that with something that didn't get headlines. In DC in my position I was unsuccessful in representing before a House Committee the many Black administrators who were rarely appointed as principal when the schools were integrated in the South, it was usually the White man (or sometimes woman.)

Thanks for an interesting question to me.

mugfantoo5 karma

Thank you for the answer. A very interesting insight.

dcretiree5 karma

I overlooked answering your question I see and realized further that you have been asking abou not personal involvement, but one that I read about. And that certainly is interesting to think about. In my thoughtful moments it would have to be not wars or stock market failings, but the murder of Pres. Kennedy and the election to the presidency of someone totally unqualified, a person with questionable real estate skills and a second rate television television performer.

dcretiree4 karma

I overlooked answering your question I see and realized further that you have been asking abou not personal involvement, but one that I read about. And that certainly is interesting to think about. In my thoughtful moments it would have to be not wars or stock market failings, but the murder of Pres. Kennedy and the election to the presidency of someone totally unqualified, a person with questionable real estate skills and a second rate television television performer.

BlowTongue3 karma

This is such as great question to ask!

dcretiree2 karma

I overlooked answering your question I see and realized further that you have been asking abou not personal involvement, but one that I read about. And that certainly is interesting to think about. In my thoughtful moments it would have to be not wars or stock market failings, but the murder of Pres. Kennedy and the election to the presidency of someone totally unqualified, a person with questionable real estate skills and a second rate television television performer.

thesegue11 karma

Curious: how much have you enjoyed the past 19 years in particular? Not, like, the world, but personally. Obviously you've had good health in your later years, I'm just wondering if they've been generally pleasant or a challenge, or both? I turned 40 this month and I've started thinking about what 75+ might look like if, you know, the polar icecaps don't melt and wash us all away.

dcretiree21 karma

A question I would like to answer for the whole world. I have found retirement to be marvelous, and I attribute it to the fact that I feel I have tried to continue to be useful and make a difference. Even if it is just smiling at people I meet on the street. I also feel that through some adversity (the early death of my wife) I had occasion to assess my life and its meaning and discover that I could be an extrovert rather than an introvert. Thanks for the marvelous question

thesegue3 karma

Thanks for answering it!

dcretiree3 karma

Do you know of a Reddit program where I could spend an hour a day for the rest of my life answering such questions. I've really enjoyed thew quality of those I am getting.

dcretiree9 karma

AND THE FINAL POINT I WISH TO MAKE TO ALL:
George Santayana's quote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” Here are but three bits of history I find fascinating at this time and want to share with young people Listen to our 39th president (1977 - 1981) Jimmy Carter. The speech was given after three years in office and has been derisively referred to as his “Malaise Speech:. Here is a brief 2 minute introduction https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tGd_9TahzwBut hear him out in his 33 minute speech. The last half is directed at solving the (then) perceived major problems of inflation and energy, but there is attention to the greater problems that have remained unsolved. https://www.c-span.org/video/?153917-1/president-carter-address-crisis-confidenceFrom the second inaugural of President Obama, the sermon given by Reverend Adam Hamilton at the National Cathedral where I was fortunate enough to be in attendance. The Rev. Adam Hamilton delivered the sermon, telling the stories of biblical and modern day figures, calling for leaders in the room to care for the less fortunate and to have compassion “for the least of these.” Rev. Hamilton also urged political leaders to find common ground and a unifying vision to bring the country together. The entire service is available at https://www.c-span.org/video/?310530-1/inaugural-prayer-service
And from another era, the words of a traveler from France, Alexis de Tocqueville, who saw the United States as “exceptional.” I personally have found these three views as particularly pertinent at this time: Religion (at that time he saw only Christianity) is encouraged as a curb for excessive freedom A nation where volunteerism encourages people to work together to solve problems. There is separation of church and state
An internet summary of his main ideas may be found at https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-thesis-main-idea-democracy-america-699471
AS A FORMER HIGH SCHOOL HISTORY TEACHER I FEEL THESE ARE THREE IMPORTANT EVENTS THAT ALL AMERICANS SHOULD STUDY & ANALYZE

FunDeckHermit9 karma

Have you traveled the world?

What is your most fond memory abroad?

dcretiree19 karma

Not the world, just much of the US, and some of Europe, Hawaii, Mexico Egypt and Belize. And of course South to Canada when I lived in Michigan (It's true.) My favorite trips were to Germany (traveling as a volunteer with the exchange program Youth for Understanding. Particularly when I was able to take my four children to see the LInden tree my grandfather planted whwen he left Germany to come to Texas

FunDeckHermit6 karma

Did you call your German grandfather "opa" ?

Thanks for your AMA, greetings from The Netherlands.

dcretiree9 karma

I disdained learning German when he was young, but I have since learned to embrace it, while realizing the horrible "sins" of my ancestry. Love your country

Bravewide8 karma

Do you still masturbate?

dcretiree3 karma

I've had such good questions. And this really is two in one so I'll answer neither.

Xukay3337 karma

What is something you seen personally, that gives you hope in humanity?

dcretiree20 karma

No question, , the young and old involved in protests,, even risking their lives, to join those who have endured so much and been misunderstood by our society.

redander2 karma

This is such a great answer! Have seen so much superficial change in your life? Or change for the worse? I'm happy that you are proving the, they are stuck in their way folks wrong. Sorry for my lack of grammar sir.

dcretiree1 karma

I am glad we seem to agree. The grammar is not important. I have been pleased with so much of the change I have seen, but we need more. Too often people have said one thing and behaved in a bad way. I think it is this hypocrisy that bothers young people.

VN0117 karma

If you where allowed to re live three days of your life which days would you choose?

dcretiree14 karma

It would be easier to list those that were not livable. Wish all humans could have the joys have had. Three might be Marriage, children, remarriage.

PancakePowered2477 karma

This isn’t a serious question, but what’s your favorite food?

dcretiree13 karma

Very mundane. Steak and fries, and Mexican and creastive casseroles. And just about anything. I with I could cut down my love of all meats, poultry and seasfood. What's the best meal you ever had.

PancakePowered2476 karma

Back in a Wisconsin I had this AMAZING Taco Salad. I wish I could go back and have it again. Thank you!

dcretiree2 karma

Tell me where and what it is and I will have my Badger family go.

wacken76 karma

What are your thoughts on the counterculture that resulted in the explosion of art- including rock music? Did you have any favorite bands? You might probably be in your 30s when all of that happened. It would really be interesting to read your thoughts. And, thanks for the AMA.

dcretiree12 karma

My music was the jazz of the 30's - 50's. I I learned to appreciate the Beatles on and have enjoyed most everything since except for that which I can neither sing a long with or understand the words. And my bell is really rung by the American musical.

Luchadorelibros5 karma

You may have been asked this already, but which era would you rather live in? The present or before?

dcretiree25 karma

It was indeed a question I was asked many time, "What was the best decade of your life?" Personally for me it was the 50's (young family, new opportunities) and after the war there was a victorious spirit and new opportunities but thankfully I realize that it was not so for so many. I hope I live long enough to see the realization that that slow arc of justice is speeding up and I can be free of the white guilt that our society has structured. Were my body were t retain my fortunate good health, I'd like to live a lot longer to enjoy the promise of the future, if.........................

Thanks for being #1

Robertdigitalorgasm-2 karma

I can be free of the white guilt that our society has structured

You’re 94, not 194 - slavery didn’t exist in your lifetime so therefore you could not have owned a slave (unless you lived in the Middle East or Africa, where slavery is still practiced). Unless you personally did something to aggrieve or harm a person/people of color based on their race, you have nothing at all to be guilty about. All the young hipsters despise Christianity because of “sins of the father” type nonsense, yet believe that whites in America, no matter when their families may have come to the country, should be forever indebted to blacks, while completely ignoring the fact that many if not most American blacks have at least some white lineage. It’s totally absurd, and I hope that you are not being victimized by a caretaker who is demanding that you show contrition for acts that you have never committed.

dcretiree5 karma

Thank you so much for so honestly sharing a view that I disagree with entirely. This is the type of discussion we need. I think Pres. Obama said it very succinctly when he stated to an industrialist or someone that, "you didn't build that. make that, accomplished that alone, you stand on teh shoulders of those who have.....Of course i owned no slave, but I saw and permitted othewr human beings being persecuted, melodiously taken advantage of and did not do what I could have to stand and support them. I profit from living in a country (land) that was taken from people who were here first and/or helped build the society I enjoy. No it shouldn't haunt me and it doesn't but it must give me pause to realize that much of what I enjoy is a result of my having white skin.Sorry, so much I would like to say. But..................

mynameisadrean5 karma

Has there ever been a time in your life where you felt things were hopeless and things turned around? I’m 27 and I feel like no matter what we try to do, the rich and powerful white men will always find a way.

dcretiree15 karma

Sorry (!) I have never faced the adversity you may well have had to endure so I won't even try to put myself in your place. But yes, I was hospitalized for extreme depression about 25 years ago, sought treatment, put my life in perspective with a good analyst and friens and have continued with medication for the remainder of my life. And I will admit to having adequate income and no poser other than being a school principal an het inherent powwer of being in the male majority skin tone.

suspiciousbookshelf4 karma

What are the moments that you look back on & smile? Are they all the "big" events or more little silly things?

dcretiree3 karma

Neither, they are the "small"poignant personal serious events that I hold dear. Most of them intimate with loved ones when deep affection comes through. Recently read hos a famed columnist regretted that she had never said she admired her policeman father. I recalled that I had nevergiven such an accolade to my carpenter father Yet I was reminded that I did so when I took him with me to apply for a rather important school position. I got the job and the superintendent said something like, Anyone who would bring his father..........................That moment made me feel awfully good that I may have done something naturally and unconsciously

suspiciousbookshelf2 karma

Thank you for the response, that's beautiful!

dcretiree2 karma

Yea but I didn't get to mention that it is also the smile on a child's face.

dwhite217874 karma

As a teacher/principal, have you had a student ever come back into your life, and made you think "I am SO proud of them for _____"? What was it you were proud of?

dcretiree3 karma

This almost seems like a set up. One of my more underpriviged, African/American students in my half and half junior high school of 1,000 students whose home background was such that (censored) eventually succeeded me as principal of that school!

dwhite217871 karma

Not a setup, I swear, and that is just amazing!

dcretiree2 karma

I was only joking about the set-up. I too found it hard to believe. And I got further joy from it by :

For my 80th birthday I asked my friends and even the enemies I accumulated to contribute money to bring students from that school to spend a week in Washington DC. How delighted I was to have the principal and the teacher,spend five days doing what they would never have a chance to do otherwise. And I learned the lesson from principal, Arthur, that the most impact on him as a student was to have an African American gym teacher. Obviously I've been a supporter of affirmative action all my life.

Herdnerfer3 karma

How old were you when you learned to type?

What was your first computer?

dcretiree10 karma

I fun question, I was taught to type in junior high school in San Antonio, It was required. Don't gwet me started on education where as a retired public school educator I have some very deep seated thoughts.

I can't remember the "recent" past". Must have been in the late 60's that I used IBM

isaackaiji2 karma

Do you believe in God?

dcretiree2 karma

One of my favorite questions aas I ask the questioner to define "God". If the questioner means the God I learned about in church Sunday School as a child and was subtly implied through traditional churches I give a resounding "No.". I was challenged at a "Unitarian type" church to develop my own definition and so I may say, Yes I believe in some power for good that created and sustains the universe that when I live in conformity with that power I am able to find the resources to live life in harmony with it Thanks for asking. May I ask about your belief?

testingtesting282 karma

Is there any advice you want to give to young people?

dcretiree2 karma

Oh I prefer not to preach, tho I know I do so in my statement about learning from history There is so much I could say, but in this period of extreme polarization, I would like to encourage young people to learn as much as they can and be open to other points of view. Certainly the "Trump people" have valid concerns but each "side" is so polarized they can't hear the other. Sometimes compromise is necessary to make progress.

testingtesting282 karma

!!! OK yes I 100% agree with this, the polarization has gotten out of hand. That's why I think they need to switch to a non 2 party system

Thank you!

dcretiree2 karma

Thanks for your thoughts. I'll bring it up with my retirement group of 25 men who meet weekly.

testingtesting282 karma

Cool! Id be curious to know what they think

dcretiree2 karma

I'll try to get back to you.

Tonipepperoni8122 karma

What best piece of advice do you have for us?

dcretiree2 karma

I think I may largely answered this but there are always added things that come to mind. I thin k an optimistic outlook is extremely important, look for the good in events and people and maximize those insights.

jacob_wood-dot-pdf2 karma

We’re you drafted into the military and what branch did you serve in?

dcretiree2 karma

Love to reminisce. After graduating from high school in 1943 I volunteered in the Marine Corps with the promise of 16 months (2 years) of college and then boot camp and officer training. We were to be the leaders to invade Japan. Fortunately (for me) the bomb negated that need and I was totally stateside. The service broadened my life experience as well as getting me the GI bill that permitted my getting 2 college degrees. When peope thank me for my service, I respond that I thank my government for all it has provided me.

I could say a lot more, but it makes me wish there were ore volunteer programs for young people today.

misterkoenvdw2 karma

Love this ama! What do you think the main goal of education is? (I am a teacher myself)

dcretiree2 karma

Having had about every job in education from preschool to university except driving a bus, there is no topic I hold dearer to my heart, but feel more frustration about. I think I have seen every new vogue in education imaginable (except for that facing the schols now not only because of the pandemic, but also because of the social (technical media. But its purpose hasn't changed in my opinion. Society expects more and more from the schools, but (how can I put it simoply ? Perhaps to provide an environment where each child can realize his or her innate capacity and learn to function in a democratic society in a participatory way. off the top of my head, but I must add that seems/is an impossible job under the present loads and expectations of teachers in most public schools. Unfortunately i haveonly seen it truly realized in private schools.Good luck

Robertdigitalorgasm2 karma

You state that this may be your last year. My own mortality terrifies me and the thought that I will someday die kind of ruins my life in a way. Does the extreme fear of death subside over time, or is it still as as acute as it was, say, 50 years ago?

dcretiree3 karma

This must vary greatly according to the individual. No way can I generalize. I can only give my personal experience. I really gave no thought to death throughout my life. Perhaps I was shielded from it and only saw it as a natural phenomenon fr old people whom I had seen as perhaps "ready for it." I have later seen it personally in a crueler form, but it only convinced me to continue to do what I could to continue to live life to the fullest and realize there are some things I can do nothing cannot do anything about so why worry about them

More pointedly I have grown to see life as a part of nature and therefo;re, unless something unforeseen happens (that I will know nothing about) I shall grow old and go the way of all nature. This may be simplistic, but it has meaning for me and I hope it helps. Oops I see I alreadyanswered it

dcretiree3 karma

A very interesting question but I am sure it remains a unique one for every individual. Personally I never gave any thought to death at an earlier age. Perhaps it stemmed from having an optimistic outlook upon life. As I have grown old I feel my personal philosophy on the meaning and purpose of life has placed it in a philosophical position though I never had a course in philosophy. that being that I am a part of nature and everything has a time and place and mine will sometime come to and end and that is okay with me.

BrokenJellyfish1 karma

What would you change about the world if you could wave a wand and make 1 thing different? Another way to look at it, what is the biggest problem facing us today that you'd like to see not a problem anymore?

dcretiree2 karma

Wow! How did I overlook this one. Perhaps it is because it is so difficult.What change what I like to see the world? All individual human hearts to be ruled by love and concern for ones neighbor. Idealistic I know. But what I feel. There is a song, "ah sweet.mystery of life at last Ive found thee........ it's love and love alone that rulesthe world. What change what I see for our country? Being much more realistic now I have to say that it would be to elect our president by popular vote.

MossyDefinition1 karma

Did you struggle with suicidal thoughts, anxiety, depression, eating disorder, or a mood disorder at any stage of your life? Can you tell us how old you were then?

dcretiree2 karma

All of the above except eating disorder when I was about 70. It was about a year after my wife died and I was hospitalized for a week with what I could only describe as "episodal". Just to be totally honest, My marvelous marriage to the only "girl I ever loved" (boy is that old fashioned) was followed a year after by a "failing affair." Psychiatric helpo and low level drugs were extremely helpful as well a familyhellp and a new, fulfilling relationship. Back to preaching! I truly think oour country would be in totally different place now if Bill Clinton had admitted to the nation he needed psychiatric help for his illness. We would have avoided other ill presidents in the white House.

MossyDefinition1 karma

Thank you for sharing! I am glad you were able to get help. I think it is powerful that people are sharing their stories.

I didn’t expect a reply from someone so popular, I am honored to have heard from you! :)

dcretiree1 karma

What makes you think I am popular. Last time I did this I had thousands of questions, so I am a bit disappointed. However the quality of them is better this time. My "wife" thinks it is because of teh virus, and peoples serious mindset. (except for the president who seems to think it a joke.

MossyDefinition1 karma

What should I avoid doing to my body?

dcretiree1 karma

Out of my field, I can only speak from my experience. I guess I have avoided EVERY diet and health rule. HOWEVER , I have always been physically and athletically active. Until now. I have lived a life of moderation. No harmful drugs. Raised in a teetotaling family I had no tobacco or alcohol (even in the Marine Corps) until I was about 22 and since in moderation. Guess I choose my parents well and have been lucky.

MossyDefinition1 karma

Haha it sounds like you did! I haven’t heard someone say “teetotaling” in quite a while. Thank you for your expertise. Thank you thank you thank you.

dcretiree2 karma

It was the vogue in my day. My father set the example. He said he had seen the evils of "over-indulgence and no longer could even "enjoy" beer because he didn't want to set a bad example for his boys. And here's another from the past, My mother was a member of the WCTU

Hamza-12211 karma

If you could/had to relive your life all over, would you change anything?

dcretiree1 karma

Raised to be somewhat insecure and retiring, I wish I had had the confidence when I was (too) early placed in positions of leadership, I wish I had had more confidence. Public speaking was always daunting and not even relieved by college speech courses. God, love these questions that bring out a lifetime of reflection. Let me give an example:

At the age of 45 I was placed in a nationally recognized educational organization in DC. The head of a philanthropic organization asked what educational change I would "push." I had no idea and do not recall my answer. How I wish I had endorsed having EVERY CHILD IN THE 8TH GRADE IN THE NATION SPEND A WEEK IN DC. I had expedience doing that as a principal of a school in 1951 and knew its educational value.

irisjbos1 karma

Do you know how much we and everyone loves an appreciated you?

dcretiree1 karma

Oh come on now. I'm just an old man enjoying being with young people. My only frustration is that , If there is any value in this I am sorry I just don't have the enjoy or skill to find a way through a book or other social media to reach more youth.

TalonsofIceandFire1 karma

Maybe it's my inner romanticization of the past speaking, but there anything from decades past that you genuinely miss?

dcretiree1 karma

Interesting. I have gotten so that I can usually give an answer just off the top of my head. This causes me to pause in wonder. I guess it would be the mad dash to do everything and to do it NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For example I recall doing simple music all through elementary school and into junior high school. Now kids are doing music from Hamilton in the upper grades and what is there to discover in the future.

charanbobby1 karma

This is amazing, thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us. How did you take care of yourself to live such a long life?

Physically like making good food choices, exercising and

Mentally like surrounding yourself with loving people and

Financially like living frugally, and spending on things that gives you most happiness

dcretiree1 karma

I hope you got this answer from an earlier very similar question. If not, ask again. It boiled down to I broke every rule, was fortunate to select the right parents for my DNA, led an athletic life and lived in moderation. Sometimes out of financial necessity. I never had any "drugs" and delayed any smoking and drinking well into adulthood.

derrickstarr1 karma

Do you think the new generations will continue to get more intelligent as they go on? How has education improved from when you were younger?

dcretiree1 karma

So difficult to answer. At the present time I of course marvel at how very smart young people are, Yet, opportunity makes that spotty. There are areas where schools are great. Often following the money. Often when they are bad, the its because the "smart kids" have gone to private schools. I along with all my neighbors in a portion of San Antonio where we poor kids had a chance to rub elbows with a broad economic section of the population had a splendid education. ONLY WHEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAVE THE SAME QUALITY OF TEACHER AND CLASS SIZES AS PRIVATE SCHOOLS will public school education improve AND also THE BACKING AND SUPPORT OF PARENTS to demand good schools..

airhoodz1 karma

Is there anything you wish you did more of or had more time to continue doing? Not anything new, not a bucket list, but what’s something you didn’t realize the importance of doing consistently?

Also, thanks for sharing your experiences Ron, I wish I could shake your hand and if it’s worth anything you have the word of a thirty one year old stranger that I will do everything I can to help move the needle forward and hand off something better when my time comes too.

Godspeed.

dcretiree1 karma

If u are around DC we could bump elbows. Not really anything. I know well how fortunate I have been. As I noted in an earlier answer recently (I don't know how much of other answers others get to see or find it easy to do so. But I noted that I have wished I had had more confidence personally to more forcefully push the causes and beliefs I feel would benefit others.

You flatter me, but I sincerely feel it is the idealism of youth that will indeed carry the day. We will know in Novermber.

prettysjwtbh1 karma

Do you ever feel kinda sad that most of your life has happened already? I feel like the nostalgia would start to become more painful than happy if I got to your age

dcretiree1 karma

Thanks for helping me analyze this feeling, that an optimistic personality keeps me from dwelling on the past with regrets and enables me to see the good in the present. Of course being in a "good place" now helps me maintain that attitude. My glass is half full rather than half empty.

yknotme1 karma

What are your opinions on property rights?

dcretiree13 karma

I'm no lawyer, I'll refer this to one of the 15 men I will meet with tomorrow, several of whom are lawyers. But I won't dodge the intent of your question. I think our capitalistic society always needs improving and human conditions need to be considered. Perhaps we need fewer lawyers and more mediators. Whose rights are paramount, Native
Americans who were there first or African Americans burned out of property in Tulsa?

yknotme2 karma

I agree. What use is the law if it is built for exploitation.

dcretiree1 karma

I am going to take this up with my men's group this next Wednesday. Several of them were lawyers.

-1551 karma

who’s 1 stranger that you still remember?

dcretiree1 karma

I really had to ponder this question and then came to meall of a sudden. About a year ago I had traveled to Midland, Texas, for a very emotional funeral. While waiting to return to Washington at the airport in Midland, the young man and I exchanged glances and became instant friends. We sat together on Southwest Airlines and spend several hours layover together comparing notes. He was effusive in telling of his lifelong addiction to drugs, the depths of his despair, and remarkable recovery since the death of his father. Since I had recently counsel someone regarding I wanted to learn more and we talked of his possibly publishing a book. We exchanged addresses and he disclosed that miraculously, he, is also recovering wife and two children were soon coming for a week stay in Washington.

We kept in close contact, even with his (even more remarkable wife) and the week of their arrival.. I met them for lunch at my favorite Washington restaurant, we took pictures, I send an email thanking them for breakfast and that's the last I heard of them. Dictated but not proofread

Valnerium1 karma

I’m not sure if you’re still replying to any comments but I have an easy one.

How to you keep your hair so good? I have a friend who’s almost 21 and he’s balding! Lol.

dcretiree1 karma

I'll keep responding as long as there are questions. Absolutely nothing! But it makes me recall that as a teen I used both Wildroot (You better use Wildroot Cream oil Charlie, it keeps your hair in trim. ) and Vitalis, both at the sawe time. And listen to the great jazz tune, Wildroot, one of my favorites. Thanks for asking. For the first time I am letting it grow and hope I can achieve a ponytail.

slickfrowzy2471 karma

In your Twilight years, do you ponder life after death, and do you believe their is salvation for you?

dcretiree1 karma

I don't want to seem cavalier or flip about it, but I truly would like your perception first of life after death. I am aware of a "traditional " one. But I can say yes, I will continue to live in the hearts and minds of people who might have some cause to remember me. My physical body will return to dust, so I shall be relieved of any suffering I may be inflicted with.

The same is true of the word "salvation." I guess it means something like "Jesus will serve as my intermediary to forgive my sins if I believe he is the son of God."

And I would have to respond that those seem to be words that give some people comfort but mean nothing to me. I would like to believe that I can be called a Christian because I follow the example of one about whom there are stories about a life lived that I would like to emulate.

slickfrowzy2471 karma

Reading your comments it seems you have insight and sympathy for the plight of the Black man in America. How did you come to feel this way and were there pivotal moments or influences that helped develop these feelings?

dcretiree3 karma

I have of course pondered this many times.. However I first really did it at with two friends from Michigan State University who had "inspected" for a day by 50/50 Black/White junior high school. I have known Ron Simmons for many years in Ann Arbor, the most effective humanities teacher at Ann Arbor high school I had ever known. Rob went on to "bigger things" at Harvard and the New York City schools but I shall always remember him as a high school teacher. He was a Black man who died a much too early death.

During dinner Ron said something like, "Larry why do you and Ron as southern males have such remarkable civil rights views?

So finally, here is my succinct answer.

  1. Parents who although only with a sixth and 8th grade education lived the lives of acceptance of all peoples. My father was on a church committee that wanted to take action Against the Black custodian who had the "audacity" to sit on the basement stairs and listen to the ministers Sunday sermon. Going against the grain, my father talked the committee out of the action. Yet my father was a very humble and soft-spoken man.

  2. Exposure in a public school to students of wealth and poverty and while Blacks were excluded, San Antonio's society did permit area' Mexicans to attend.

  3. Attending liberal churches and a religiously affiliated college during that awakening period when such churches became rallying places for all the progressive civil rights movements.

  4. Having a liberal wife is a partner resulting liberal children, their spouses and their children

Thanks for the question And I am pleased to report that Edmonds and Lazottee co-autored a book citing research that showed will one of the six factors that makes a good school is the leadership of the principal. I don't know what testing ultimately showed, but they both told me that Walter B, Steele was a good junior high school.

Alpha_Scatterrer1 karma

How was the change in society from your younger days to now?

dcretiree1 karma

So difficult to answer because of the breadth of the question. The degree of change is so vast. I an't imagine what my father a WWI veteran would think. I know the impatience of needed change yet, but I know he would applaud the progress in race and gay/lesbian etc. rights. We used to make very short phone calls at night to reduce cost. But he would still decry the growing national debt. Even I am disbelieving the developments in "progress." And from my lower middle class upbringing, one of the most remarkable things to me is the current need/desire to have both parents working.

Thanks for the ?

Alpha_Scatterrer1 karma

Thanks for the reply! it's amazing to meet a person 4 generations before me on the other side of the world :)

dcretiree1 karma

so where are you and how would you answer the question you asked.