Let’s back up for a moment. When I was in my late thirties I had decided that people 50 years or older were too old to govern and should be put out to pasture or in an old age home. Suddenly one day I find myself at the ripe old age of 60 and am sure that anyone 70 and over should be let go and as I get older, I keep moving the goal posts.
And yet many of those I have known got lost as early as in their 50’s and others were struck with dementia, Alzheimer or some other debilitating illness.
At the same time, I have seen some incredible examples of individuals who defied father time and are still doing incredible work. I have family members and friends in their 80’s who are still very alert and doing good work.
One of these special miracle individuals is the most incredible Dolores Huerta, co-founder of United Farm Workers Union and Founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, who works night and day on a broad band of issues; and she is 93 years young. Another youngster in my life is Maria Garcia, of the Tohono Odom tribe of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico, who also is 93 and is leading an effort to build a cultural center for the six tribes in the Magdalena Mexico area. And then, there is Margarita Llamas Padilla at 101, who originally was from Jalisco, Mexico, but now lives in California. Recently at a three-day wedding extravaganza in New Mexico she hung out and did not go to bed early; she has all her faculties with her and she was up for all the breakfast events each day. I was most charmed when she asked me to hug her when folks took our picture.
But then, again, there are some Congress women from Colorado and Georgia who are either too young or too lost intellectually/morally and might need to put out in that pasture. Or be sent to a remedial educational institution.
It seems that while age is a barometer to look at, it is also the health and mental stamina that are also important factors to look at.
I am not too far behind age wise of the two current leading presidential candidates and feel that I still have a lot to offer and that my analytic abilities are as sharp as ever.
I have some friends my age who spend their time golfing and traveling and that is all good; but I also see many for a variety of reasons, who are already in assisted living homes. And I wouldn’t mind if they would let me out during the day, to go around to organize and cause a little trouble.
In the past 5 years I have driven at least 50,000 miles each year, most of it by myself, to do my border work and other human rights projects, sleeping in cheap motels and not always getting a balanced diet.
These days I recognize that I take more naps along the road or at the motel, and make sure that I get more rest at night. While when I was a young wild stallion I didn’t need the kind of rest that my body now demands.
While I understand better each year my physical limitations, I also have learned to ask for and accept help. But let me tell you, my mind is in tip top shape and I am still learning and growing. You must continue learning if you want to keep your brain working well.
Any yes, I could possibly become your brown round humorous candidate for president!