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[My Thoughts] Security for the Dangerous Years

This column is the final in a series of lessons learned and insights about how to balance the need for security with the ability to live exuberant lives with confidence and freedom.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

Why is the year you retire one of your two most dangerous years?

I believe it’s because people in our culture find their Ikigai (passion or reason for living) in their work. If they don’t have their work, they drift without a purpose. Do they have a purpose anymore?

A BCH trustee asked me recently if I plan to be around as president for another five years. “Yes,” I told her. I feel good, and there is no reason to retire.

But her question really pierced my thoughts. What would I do if I retired? Who would I be? Where is my identity then?

I confess my job is both my security and my identity. My employees are my family and I’m almost a father figure now. They are not “like” family; they are family. There is a family identification.

I recently did a spontaneous rap during a statewide event – Family Gathering IV – wit