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Blog archive

June 2024

Telling the Whole Story
06/12/2024

Nashville
06/10/2024

One Mo Gin
06/10/2024

May 2024

Emergency Preparedness: Are You Ready?
05/28/2024

Farewell from the 2023/24 Social Work Interns
05/28/2024

Gina on the Horizon
05/28/2024

Mark Your Calendars for the Healthy Aging Research California Virtual Summit
05/28/2024

Meet Our New Development Associate
05/28/2024

Putting the Strategic Plan into Practice
05/28/2024

Washington Park: Pasadena’s Rediscovered Gem
05/28/2024

Introducing Civil Rights Discussions
05/22/2024

Rumor of Humor #2416
05/14/2024

Rumor of Humor #2417
05/14/2024

Rumor of Humor #2417
05/14/2024

Rumor of Humor #2418
05/14/2024

Springtime Visitors
05/07/2024

Freezing for a Good Cause – Credit, That Is
05/02/2024

No Discussion Meeting on May 3rd
05/02/2024

An Apparently Normal Person Author Presentation and Book-signing
05/01/2024

Flintridge Center: Pasadena Village’s Neighbor That Changes Lives
05/01/2024

Pasadena Celebrates Older Americans Month 2024
05/01/2024

The 2024 Pasadena Village Volunteer Appreciation Lunch
05/01/2024

Woman of the Year: Katy Townsend
05/01/2024

April 2024

March 2024

February 2024

January 2024

The Village Spirit, The Power of a Open Heart

By Karen Bagnard
Posted: 12/05/2020
Tags: karen bagnard

The Village Spirit

The Village spirit is a beautiful thing. It comes in many sizes,
shapes, backgrounds and talents. It’s a spirit of comradery, an
attitude of gratitude, a sense of empowerment, a can-do
attitude and knowing the importance of finding joy in every
day.

Recently a new member mentioned to me her need for support
with caring for her partner 24/7. I just happened to know there
was a support group for such members. I put her in touch with
them and they had an immediate response of welcome.
Life can be a challenge as we age and, yet, there is still so much
life left to live and enjoy. Our challenges are all different. What
one person struggles with, another can help easily. We come
together to help make life more enjoyable and manageable for
each other. There is a team spirit that sustains us.

Humor and kindness are essential ingredients in the Village.
They say laughter is healing. I believe it is. Laughter is what
takes the hard edges off difficult situations. Laughter is indeed
a gift that can be shared. My experience in our Village is that
there are many members gifted this way and I am always
grateful for their sense of humor.
Connecting with each other, helping each other navigate hard
times and finding friendship along the way is probably the most
important benefit of Village membership.

I’m remembering a time a few years back, when a new member
joined our Village. I found her interesting and invited her for
tea. She, too, was an artist so we had much to discuss. Next
she invited me to her home and studio to see her work.
In a matter of months this member learned her cancer was
terminal. She didn’t know many members yet and was not
willing to let the Village know. I encouraged her to open up
about her situation, assuring her that there would be members
who might be of service to her. She did not want to but said it
was okay if I let people know.

Our Executive Director immediately reached out to her. I
suggested to our resident “gallery curator” to arrange an
exhibit of her artwork, which he did. Within a short time the
exhibit was hung, a reception was hosted for her and her circle
of friends and we all enjoyed her presentation and her amazing
work. Some of those wonderful pieces are now at the Autry
Museum.

This woman, who was so not interested in letting the Village
know her situation, learned how well we come together for
each other. She ended up feeling very much a part of the
Village and genuinely appreciated the opportunity to display
her work and talk about it and the inspiration that compelled
her to create it. When her will was read, we learned she had
left a substantial gift to the Village.

That was a surprise we could never have imagined. It also told us that we had truly
done well by her in her final months.
The Village is a place where we all get to be authentic. It’s a
level playing field. It’s an opportunity to meet people from
many facets of life with experiences we’ve never had. It’s also
a place to find kindred spirits who enjoy the same pass times
we do. It’s a place for reciprocity. What you get out of it is in
direct relation to what you put into it.

- Karen Bagnard -


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