Guest Author - Alice Andersen
Across our country, senior citizens are actively involved in improving the communities around them. Many of these seniors are acknowledged for their exemplary lives as they commit themselves to helping others. Senior citizen awards are given by cities, counties, and states. Local school districts, senior centers, medical institutions, and private organizations such as the Rotary or the American Legion are also involved in acknowledging these special seniors.
Awards can have noble titles such as Senior Citizen Hall of Fame, Senior Citizen of the Year, or simply Outstanding Senior Citizen. Whether the award is given from a big organization or a small local club, the seniors who earn the awards all have one thing in common. They are giving back to their communities in whatever way they can.
There are so many fine seniors in today’s world and they all need to be acknowledged with or without awards. Our country does that by designating May as “Older Americans Month”. During that month there are a great many luncheons and award ceremonies to acknowledge the best of the best.
There is a wide variety of criteria for deciding who is the most outstanding. When it’s all said and done there seem to be five basics that reflect the seniors who are chosen.
1. They advocate for seniors.
Too many of our seniors would fall by the wayside without people willing to stand up for them and give them a voice. There are many professionals in the field, but outstanding seniors take it upon themselves to speak out for their fellow seniors.
2. They volunteer in the community.
Seniors have a reputation for being reliable and skilled volunteers in a broad range of cultural programs such as zoos, gardens, and museums. They also get involved in community programs to help youth and other seniors. These are just a few of the many fine ways seniors volunteer their time helping others.
3. They share their knowledge with others.
Whether it is with tutoring or answering gardening questions, senior citizens have a lifetime of knowledge and those who share it in creative, inspirational ways are truly outstanding seniors.
4. They promote an active living lifestyle and are passionate about what they do.
Sometimes it isn’t enough just to do things. Passion is contagious and there are active seniors with passion in America. Inspiring others is indeed worthy of an outstanding senior award.
5. They smile and they spread the joy of helping others.
A senior can be an advocate, a volunteer, a fountain of knowledge and have tons of passion. But the single, most important criteria for being a truly outstanding senior is to be genuinely warm and generous of spirit. It may not win you a plaque to hang on the wall but it will be a reward in and of itself.
If you have stories of outstanding seniors in your life, be sure and post them on the forum. With our busy day to day lives, it’s often difficult to cultivate the spirit of generosity we need to lead truly fulfilling lives. Reading the stories of others may be just the inspiration someone needs to become another truly outstanding senior citizen.