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Why I want wrinkles
By Romanita Hairston     March 22nd, 2016
It is true that getting older doesn't necessarily make you wiser. I must admit, though, that not becoming wiser as you age must take very active resistance to learning. In other words, it is more natural to gain wisdom than not.  It would seem that you have to put blinders on the rear-view mirror of your life and silence the voice of your past to avoid gaining wisdom.

Certainly, a healthy conversation could take place about my perspective. My musings on aging, though, are not my destination. They are simply the jumping off points.

Two matters lie just below the surface of all my thoughts about aging. The first is about being productive and purposeful as I age. The second is about the way I hope to live in community. They are both connected.  One of my clearest images of what exists in a healthy community is active and engaged old people, and I am intentional about using the word "old."

The elderly are a sign that people can enjoy some level of health that allows them to age. Seve...
What's in a name?
By Romanita Hairston     March 15th, 2016
I had the most unusual experience a summer or so ago  at a camp where I met a young girl who told me she didn't like her last name. Now, I'm not so naïve that I've never heard someone say such a thing. But until this point, I had never met someone who seemed to have such sorrow over their name. It was an internal sorrow, not connected to the way her name was perceived by others, but by a deep sense of being oppressed by her name.

Caily (name changed to protect privacy) was effusive and loving. I also noticed that she was amazingly tired. On a bright sunny day, where other girls would fill the halls and corridors with laughter, she came in a bit sullen and would often fall asleep. I soon discovered that both she and her sister had to take some pretty heavy medications to deal with the abuse they had endured as very young children at the hands of their fathers.

As we talked, I was surprised at her sense of knowing herself and being so aware of the impact of the trauma she had faced....

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