Don’t waste older tal­ent

The Dallas Morning News - - Nation & World -

Von Drehle seems to be­lieve that se­nior cit­i­zens should all step aside and let young peo­ple run the coun­try. To sup­port this, he claims that most pres­i­dents were younger peo­ple. But life ex­pectancy was much lower in the past, and there were fewer older peo­ple around. Fur­ther, med­i­cal ad­vances have en­abled more of us to re­main alert and vi­brant for many years.

Many older peo­ple re­tain ac­tive minds, vig­or­ous bod­ies, and en­joy a ma­ture per­spec­tive on life. Most work­ers 55 and over are re­li­able and hard­work­ing, and have a lower turnover than younger work­ers. Churches and other or­ga­ni­za­tions find that se­niors are among their most ac­tive vol­un­teers.

Vic­tor Korch­noi won the In­ter­na­tional Chess Fes­ti­val at age 70. Charles Dana wrote of The Peaks of Medicine at 78. Verdi wrote

Fal­staff at around 80; Goethe fin­ished writ­ing Faust at 81. Ge­orge Bernard Shaw was writ­ing plays in his 90s.

It’s a waste of tal­ent to ex­pect ev­ery­one over age 70 to with­draw from life or lead­er­ship. Of course young peo­ple should have a say about our coun­try, but so should all of us.

Emory Bur­ton, East Dal­las

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