A Long Productive Life

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Today I was a guest teacher at a university and I met a remarkable elderly man named Hiroshi.  I had the students pair up and talk about jobs they’ve had.  Then each partner would summarize what the other had said.  So Hiroshi’s partner told us that he had been a doctor for 30 years at a public hospital, then he had a private practice for 13 years.  

But Hiroshi corrected her and said, “No, 30 years at the clinic.”

“So 13 years at the hospital, then 30 years at the clinic?”

“No, 30 years at the hospital, and 30 years at my clinic.”

Everyone was incredulous and asked more questions to see if they had heard correctly.  Finally he said, “Hey, I’m 86 years old.  I worked for 60 years.  I only retired 5 years ago.”

So Hiroshi became a doctor at age 21 in the 1940’s and worked into the following century. That’s 6 decades of service as a doctor. And he seemed just as alert and sharp as anyone in that room. I estimate that he’s worked more years than all the people in that classroom combined. That’s amazing. That’s a long productive life.