Sunday, 19 May 2024

Williams: Becoming 76

Aretha Franklin was 76 when she passed away. I will be 76 in September and I pause to think about firstly the contributions Aretha gave to our world.

Seventy six years is nothing to sniff at and I think about what I feel I have contributed to our world.

I am in no way comparing Aretha's life and mine I am just reflecting on what it means to give and the years we have to give to the world something that hopefully makes this world a better place.

I want to honor Aretha's life by saying, "You gave us so much joy and love, maybe I can do the same with my life.”

I have had the joy of working with young people for more than 50 years. I believe in our youth and pray for them in terms of what the future world may bring them.

I want the young people to know, never give up giving, never lose hope and try and leave a positive footprint.

Look up to those who have contributed to make your world a better place and know you too can follow in their footsteps.

As a nation we are too quick to give in to those who teach hate instead of love. We as a nation are building barriers to understanding and acceptance. Now more than ever we need to listen to the words of Aretha, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Obama among the many teachers that have traveled through this life.

Young people, we are here for you, we pray for you, we believe in you. I for one we never turn my back on realizing the importance of being a positive role model. Trust me, to fight for understanding, peace and love is a brave thing to do. To honor differences is a value, to work for peace is honorable.

I will miss Aretha but in the time I have left I will renew my commitment to the youth (our future) and realize each day I can do something to make this a better world.

Yes, to be 76 means I am "old," but what is wrong with that? Seventy six just means I have some time to keep giving and can look back on my life and realize the joy I have experienced being a part of our nations children’s lives.

Come on seniors, here is my challenge: Reach out to our youth and let them know we are here for them and together we can make this world a better place.

Sue Williams lives in Kelseyville, Calif.

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