By Moonyeen King
President of the Board for Tepehua
Many in the society we live in are going through what is affectionately called the ‘Golden Years’, a term taken from early Greek and Roman poets, meaning ‘when man lived in the pure age’. Hesiod, the Greek Philosopher, introduced the phase in his essay ‘Work and Days’. It is also mentioned in Orvid’s ‘Metamorphoses’ with the concept of ‘four metal stages’ (gold, silver, bronze and iron).
According to Wikipedia, the term Golden Years was resurrected in 1959, when the idea of early retirement originated for those 55 and over, and also the offer of luxury retirement areas tempted people for the first time to leave their home base and enjoy living elsewhere.
So, the Golden years can be just that. One can choose to reinvent oneself or accept it will be your iron days settling into rust. The prospect of early retirement is appealing more and more to the mid-fifties for whom life outside the workplace has great appeal. That in turn, makes for a hugely active retirement community with energy and brains to share for the betterment of the whole.
A vibrant energy emanates from Lakeside organizations such as Rotary, Shriners, Churches, etc. which are predominately populated by retirees in the thousands. It is on the strength of these people, who feel the need to give back to help the host country, that organizations like the Tepehua Community Center can finance the work its volunteers do. The huge retirement community Lakeside has changed the world of Chapala at a rapid pace, supplying work for many people who live below the poverty line, swelling the need for civil servants in all fields, and the outcome is parents being able to afford education for their children that their parent’s generation never had. Stores prosper and hire more staff. Ma and Pa stores are better supplied and all the service trades make a steady living. Covid put a stop to the growth but it can never really go back...it will return in a rush as soon as the bans lift. Many businesses improvised to continue working and some of those improvisations are here to stay.
One would have thought charitable organizations would suffer. This author noticed it went on hold for awhile and slowed down, but the help was still out there. As the poor are always affected most by traumas whether it be pandemics or civil unrest, food, clothing and medical attention was still there to be had with dedicated front-liners who stand up and are counted on every occasion, those who are recognized for the heroes they are. It has taken this pandemic for people to realize they are in every town and village.
Pandemics also point out the need for sanitation as hygiene is the major weapon against all diseases. Starting with the simple hygiene in the home. Which leads us back to the highlight of Tepehua Today...toilets. Living without one is an unimaginable nightmare, yet millions of people around the globe do.
Again, the people of Lakeside are stepping up and donating toilets, sinks, etc., along with monetary donations which are happily accepted. This will be an ongoing task until we make a dent in the act of open defecation that finds its way into our surface water, and eventually into the City water, which is undrinkable. This problem has caught Bill Gates eye, and he intends to redesign that image we have all known since Sir John Crapper built the first toilet in the palaces of England in 1861. Good luck Bill, you will certainly be doing our environment a great favour...as right now we are polluting our own nests.
Remember this is not a merry-go-around...life is more like a train with only one stop and no destination. Enjoying the ride is up to you. Enjoy your retirement and make them truly Golden Years.
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com