There was an article in the newspaper today about Jerry Lee Lewis, one of the old legends of rock and roll. He just cut an album. He is 75 years old. By some people's standards, he should have retired decades ago. Frankly, I didn't even know he was still amongst the living. What makes some people keep creating and learning and striving? I think the answer is passion. They have passion to use their unique gifts and talents. They are always looking for new ways to further their talent.
I am an older student who has a passion for counseling. It seems there is no end to the many facets and ways to help hurting people. After 27 years as a teacher, I decided to go back to school to get a masters in counseling and it has been a bumpy ride full of doubt and elation. Part of me asks myself why I am working so hard to get a degree at my stage of life and the other part of me says it is because I also have a passion and that it is not too late to pursue it.
It seems retirement is on the way out anyway. People stay working much longer than they used to; some because they have to in this economy to survive and some because they want to. Plus, people are living longer and longer and it is extremely difficult to live on social security. I think the trend to keep working after retirement age is going to stay and people will work way up into old age. I hope to be one of those people.
Carol Whiteley is a counselor in training at Argosy University in Atlanta.