Some advice from the ladies

This has nothing to do with Italy or France. It’s just a musing of mine on this post-election morning.

Today, as happens on many days, I looked in the mirror only to realize that I’m one day older. This aging thing—let’s call it ongoing maturation—is a constant, and it does encourage one to look for examples of how it might be done with more grace and meaning.

Since 2005, when Janet Champ and I wrote and published our book on aging, Ripe, I’ve been “collecting” women I admire. I bring them into myself by drawing them in their older age. Then, I tuck them into the back of my head, and pull them out when the occasion calls for support. Politicians have their lawyers. I have my secret army of smart females. Since Obama was supported largely by women, I thought I would ask some members of my supporting, advance team to give him some advice on the years ahead. This is what they had to say:

Toni Morrison on holding office: “As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.”

Jane Goodall on negotiation: “Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don’t believe is right.”

Josephine Baker on foreign policy: “I like Frenchmen very much, because even when they insult you they do it so nicely.”

Susan Sontag on climate change: “Anything in history or nature that can be described as changing steadily can be seen as heading toward catastrophe.”

Julia Child on delivering the State of the Union address: “Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper. Everything can have drama if it’s done right. Even a pancake.”

Diana Vreeland on style and the veto: “Elegance is innate. It has nothing to do with being well dressed. Elegance is refusal.”


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12 Responses to Some advice from the ladies

  1. Anna Harrison says:

    What happened to your post? It disappeared!

    • I don’t know! Try again! I noticed something weird when I was writing it, too. I published it. Then I saw something I needed to edit, so I did that. But it showed up as not-yet published (which is weird), so I published it again. Please let me know if you can see it now?

  2. Janette Gross says:

    It’s here and it’s good – thanks!

  3. thedailycure says:

    Thanks Janette! How are you? Any trips to Italy in your future? Don’t want to miss you next time…

    • Janette says:

      Not anything planned – yet. Just got back from almost a month in India and am recuperating from that and busy sorting through 2500 photos!

      • Wil you post them online somewhere? I’d love to see them. Your photos of Italy were beautiful. Oh! Would you be up for a guest post now and then on this blog? I’d love it if you’d consider it…just based on your memories of being here, picking a topic, publishing some of your images,etc.

      • Janette Gross says:

        I will be posting the photos of India and I’ll let you know when they are up. Seriously, I did take 2,500! Every moment seemed like it belonged on the pages of National Geographic.

        I would love to share some of my Italy memories and photos, but I am not a writer!

  4. ron says:

    being the president is a job that seems to accelerate aging. be glad you’re not the president. i am. though i think you’d be a GREAT president.

  5. I would be a shitty president, but thanks anyway!

  6. I think the president would really enjoy this!

  7. Pingback: Closed/Week in review | The Daily Cure

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