I received my first library card at the age of 5 and at 79 I am still an avid library user. The Sturgis Library is my neighborhood branch that I visit at least once a week. It offers many of the services mentioned in the article and more. The staff is personable but professional at the same time. Sturgis is an important resource and joy in my life.
Muted applause for Kelly Linehan, Director of the Waltham Public Library, with her wonderful ode to the myriad joys that libraries offer. In these inflationary times, libraries serve as a great economic leveller. The Minuteman Library Network, which includes both Waltham and my own Somerville Public Library, offers discounts on museum tickets and free New York Times passes. Libraries ensure fairer access to cultural and educational treasures from all over the world.
Mark S Sternman
According to family tradition, I learned to read when I was 4 and have been on the go ever since. My mother, who instilled in us a deep appreciation for the written word, worked in our Lancaster library. Beautiful building, circa 1868. I live next door to the Charlestown branch of the Boston Public Library. Despite all of our expanded access to information, libraries and librarians in particular are an amazing resource. When I go over to get a book I see kids who love to read, adults without internet access who can use the facilities and all sorts of programs and that reminds me of my mother and makes me so happy.
A bone to pick
As a long-time dog owner, I am dismayed at how little people know about their dog’s needs (“Are You a Helicopter Dog Parent? You Should Be Reading This,” July 24). For the past few weeks, owners have complained to me that their dogs are driving them insane. They have not considered that dogs (especially puppies) need to be walked, played, mentally stimulated, etc. Steve Calechman’s perspective should be required reading and placed on every dog owner’s doorstep.
This article may send the wrong message. As a veterinarian, I understand that many new dog owners feel pressure to socialize their dogs. But this is often very stressful for dogs. Most are “dog selective” – just like humans, dogs prefer the company of some dogs over others. Rather than blindly encouraging free play, perhaps encourage owners to enlist the help of a trainer who specializes in positive reinforcement techniques, or suggest a well-researched dog socialization course before introducing a dog to a group of native dogs release dogs. A dog can live a wonderfully enriched life without dog parks or dog/dog interactions.
I have read Miss Conduct faithfully. “Adjustment Period” (July 24th) has to be my favorite of them all. Robin Abrahams reflects the thoughts and feelings of so many [struggling after the pandemic]and brings light to our present state of mind.
Bernadette A Sanders
Windham, New Hampshire
I once heard someone say that when you help someone you don’t think about yourself. Made me pay more attention to even simple acts of kindness. To pay in advance. . . can affect the way you think.
Posted on bostonglobe.com
words of wisdom
Regarding “When Our Own Words Are Not Enough” (July 24):
Does poetry matter?
Phew, let me guess.
It’s hardly surprising
A poet says yes.
Felicia Nimue Ackermann
I first encountered the poetry of Tracy K. Smith on Garrison Keillor’s podcast The Writer’s Almanac—as did many other contemporary poets. The show was a mix of classics and new works, and introduced me to important feminist, gay, Latino, and black poets. He also included the likes of Gwendolyn Brooks and Audre Lorde in his definition of “classics.” It’s important that multiple curators share the work from different angles – we can hear from one person what we might not hear from another. I look forward to hearing more from Smith.
Posted on bostonglobe.com
Thanks to Juliet Haines Mofford for writing a clear, honest perspective on aging (“To Fight Ageism, Start By Looking in the Mirror,” July 31). Aging begins at birth, a phenomenon most find exciting until a certain age, when denial or secrecy sets in. Yes, older adults are expressing dismay at their own aging, which perpetuates ageism. Let’s keep spreading the message of healthy aging, not the anti-aging myth. If you don’t age, you’re dead.
Terry E. Rubin
I’m 74. To cheer myself up, almost every day I stand naked in front of the mirror, raise my arms in a power pose and say out loud, “I’m strong, I’m happy, I’m pretty good looking!” What is surprising is that when I mention this self-esteem technique to other women of ALL ages, they are horrified and say they could never do it. Try it!
Peterborough, New Hampshire
I like getting older. It’s the idea that time is limited and death is real that makes me poke fun at my age… I believe in ageism as a defense against our own mortality.
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As a board member of the Marshfield Council on Aging, I shy away from the disparaging self-esteem of aging. The City of Marshfield helped fund a state-of-the-art senior center that addresses not only the basic, but also the social and intellectual needs of the community. There is a weight room, dance room, gym, card room, billiards room, saloon, arts center and more. What is the problem? Surveys show that people are ashamed to enter a building called “Retirement Center”. Some have bucked this unhealthy trend by renaming their centers. Why?
I was surprised that no mention was made of how ageism reared its ugly head in the early stages of the pandemic. At that time, a large majority of people who succumbed to fatal infections were 65 years and older. In much of the concurrent public discourse, many younger people were implying that these seniors, if not expendable, were at least a price we should be willing to pay to bring our society back to normal. Some even argued that since many of the COVID victims were elderly, they were close to death anyway and the virus was only hastening the process. While our society’s age bias is widespread across many sectors, none has been more troubling than what was widely voiced during the worst of the convulsions of the pandemic.
A delightful meditation on aging in a youth-obsessed society. I’m also in the generation of writers. I don’t mind getting older, but I do mind feeling expendable and staggering. Luckily I’m fit and full of energy. However, that doesn’t seem to make much of a difference, as I’m so often perceived to do. Whether I’m in a store, buying a car, or in a social situation, I feel self-conscious about my age. And superfluous! Thanks to the author for her insight, humor and candor.
Laurie Carter Noble
I suffered this at work where I had given my life for over 40 years! My boss asked me every day when I would retire! Succession planning, he said. He wanted younger blood, he told others.
I am young yet a senior climbing the years. It’s fun to be at this age. I tell everyone I’m 28. And I believe it. My mind is very active, I read non-fiction, study and write. My energy is much higher than it was in my 20s. I cleaned out two freezers yesterday. There’s more to do today as long as I can. No rocking chair for me!
Carol Rae Bradford
It’s easy to get cranky and cynical around younger people (regardless of your age), but Ms. Mofford is right: Attitude is key. Stay open and receptive, learn new things, challenge yourself – again, these are the hallmarks of a successful adult life, no matter your age.
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