Friday, November 14, 2014

On Footprints, Life's Passion, and Centenarians

fall walk 2013 archives
"You can't leave a footprint that lasts if you're always walking on tiptoe." --Marion Blakely

Footprints. The idea was reinforced when I came across the following report in a recent issue of World Magazine (11/15/14): "There's one thing Madeline Scotto didn't wish for on her 100th birthday: retirement. Despite becoming a centenarian on October 16, the 100-year-old Brooklyn woman still works as a teacher at the St. Ephrem School where she prepares middle-school students for math competitions When asked about retiring after six decades at St. Ephrem, Scotto told WPIX: 'Oh, that's a bad word. I don't ever want to hear that word." Her commute is easy enough: just a walk across the street. 'Some people like what they're doing, but I  have a passion for what I'm doing,' she said. 'And when you have a passion for something, you never give up.'"

Madeline Scotto
photo courtesy Daily Mail
Isn't she darling? Imagine the footprints this little lady has left. Simply because she never shook loose of her passion--passion for children, for teaching, for living. At 100 years old!

Synonyms for passion? With varying degrees of meaning: enthusiasm, love for, coming alive, joie de vivre. No two days will necessarily give a full measure of these gifts, but--if we can look at Miss Madeline's life--we might say she experienced a fuller measure than some.

Others who have weighed in on the subject:

"Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for." --Ray Bradbury

"Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing. do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." --Howard Thurman

"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." --Albert Einstein

Thank you, Miss Madeline, for your example. For being an inspiration. For leaving footprints to emulate and follow--no matter our age. I just love examples like this!

How about you--any stories of those who have inspired you to reach higher, to live with more joy?

p.s. want ideas of incorporating joie de vivre in your life? Check out "How to Capture Joie De Vivre" here.


  1. What an inspiring post! Just what I need today to try to inspire new writers. I love the quote under the picture--perfect. And how true. I tend to tiptoe in life and that's not the way I should for some things!

  2. Wow, she is so inspiring and she looks absolutely fabulous! I can't believe she's 100 and still working! That says a lot about her passion. Great quotes - I really like the Howard Thurman one a lot!! :)

  3. I like the idea of teachers who are still passionate after 60 years. How many people can say that, no matter what career they've chosen?

    I was struck by your quotes, especially the one by Ray Bradbury (who wrote some pretty scary stuff in his time). Surely he isn't saying crime writers love serial killers. But it made me think about the various genres we choose -- nonfiction, memoir, fantasy ... Something in me gravitates toward fantasy. Something in you pushes you toward history. Is that the "passion"? Maybe. I just hope we're still at it when we blow out those five score of candles!

  4. I absolutely love this story. And love the first quote. Boldness is important!


  5. Wow, her story is inspiring! Great quotes, too. =)

  6. Thanks, Terri. Glad you found this inspiring--I know I did!

    Kimberly--the little lady could be a role model, couldn't she? What's her secret, that's what I want to know :-)

    Peggy, it is interesting, isn't it, how each of us is different in our interests and what we choose to write. Like the proverbial thumbprint or snowflake, we're made up of us our individual experience that make us lean one way or another. As for continuing to write up through five score years--let's cheer each other on to that!

    Debbie--yep, boldness! Being timid holds us back, that's for sure. Now to put it into practice... :-)

    And thanks, Leandra--and great to "meet" you! Thanks for the follow :-) Wishing you a great rest of the weekend, and a Happy Thanksgiving to come...