Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

Cape Cod

Sunday Musings “Longevity”

Adapted from bingo’s Sunday Musings 090503 http://www.crossfit.com

Sunday musings (thinking about color)…

1) Lil’ Bingo and I met a color-blind Minister yesterday. Solved the wardrobe issue of being color-blind with his career choice, don’t you think?

2) If you choke a smurf, what color does he turn? (I just love that one)

3) Bill Cosby. America’s warm and fuzzy comic has been receiving some less than warm and fuzzy feedback about his quest to encourage the African-American community to take responsibility for many of its problems. He has specifically taken to task young Black men on the issues of crime, drug use, and the abandonment of what then become single-parent families. He has emphatically stated that the solution lies within the African-American community.

His harshest critics say that all of these problems are really the result of on-going systemic racism in America. These critics say emphatically that no effort from within the African-American community is worthwhile or necessary until this systemic problem is eradicated.

From 30,000 feet the question begs to be asked: Why can’t both sides be mostly right? Why must it be one or the other? Why can’t the fight against systemic racism, overt or covert racism, continue while at the same time members of the African-American community work to change the powerful negative forces that work within?

Why is this black or white?

4) Longevity. My Dad (Grampbingo) lost his high school mentor and champion this week. Margaret Nolan passed away at the age of 92 in her home town of Waltham, Mass. I shared a couple of tidbits of this story  some time ago on Crossfit.com.  My Dad is the only family member of his generation to have gone to college, pretty much solely due to the efforts of a young high school teacher who saw the intellectual spark in a child of the working-class depression, a cardboard-in-the-shoes kind of kid. She plucked him out of the trades track and placed him in college prep; she even bought him a pair of shoes to wear at graduation.

How do you live to be 92 years old? I think it’s about being loved. Miss Nolan lived her entire life with her also unmarried sister, deeply devoted to one another and to their shared passion for teaching. For decades they reached out to students with love and caring, and for that they received the same in return.  A Nolan Sisters sighting at any gathering in recent years was a significant event because of this.

My Dad planned long ago to fund a college scholarship for poor kids like himself, to be named in honor of Miss Nolan after she passed away. A very wise man, counsel to my Father, convinced him to fund that scholarship right then so that Miss Nolan would know how my Dad felt, so that she could see all of the students who would benefit from the help she gave to one poor kid back in the Depression. My Father sent in the 27th scholarship check the week Miss Nolan passed away.

So for 27 years Miss Nolan was able to know and experience my Dad’s love, and the love of all of those kids now unexpectedly off to college. There’s another lesson here, too, if you are interested. My Dad didn’t wait to honor Miss Nolan. He didn’t wait until she was gone to proclaim his thanks. He listened to that wise friend and showed his love right then, and every year since. Rest assured that Richard White’s four children will show him OUR love and gratitude by doing whatever it takes to fund that scholarship long after Miss Nolan’s student has left us, too.

How do you live to be 92? I sure don’t know, but I have to think that part of the secret lies in being loved.

I’ll see you next week…

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