Bay's community services director bids farewell

I have a quote by Dr. Clarissa Pinkole Estes tacked to the bulletin board in my office. It says, “Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.”

In the 10 years that I served as the Community Services Director for the City of Bay Village, it was an honor and privilege to serve residents, collaborate with community groups and work with a great team of employees within the city. Bay Village is an extraordinary community with residents who are generous with their donation of time and money to help their neighbors.

I have enjoyed getting to know so many residents and have especially benefitted from the wisdom of older adults. So many people presume that just because someone is a senior citizen, they must be old-fashioned, feeble, and no longer able to contribute to society. This is simply NOT TRUE!

If I could leave one last gift for Bay Village, it would be to reduce the stigma of aging. Just like youth, older people are often misunderstood and undervalued by society. Ageism is the tendency to discriminate against older people. I believe this generation of baby boomers can alter the tide of negativity.

As we age, we have the power and freedom to stop wasting valuable energy either seeking approval or proving how much better we are than others. We become free to engage in life however we wish, without worrying how it looks to others. So let’s focus on the positive aspects of aging and develop an appreciation of the aging process and challenge the longstanding view of aging as decline, but instead create hope and empower action among older people.

I will take fond memories and wisdom from Bay Village residents with me to Rocky River. I look forward to meeting and working with residents in that city. I have no doubt that they have just as much to teach me, as I have to offer them! Socrates stated that the secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. I look forward to a new challenge in Rocky River, but will always cherish the years I have spent in Bay Village!

Debbie Bock served her last day as director of Bay Village's community services department on July 11, after accepting a position as head of Rocky River's senior center. Mayor Sutherland appointed Ann Orin as the department's interim director.

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Volume 6, Issue 15, Posted 9:40 AM, 07.22.2014