Living for Others

While I was in Palm Springs in September, I read a wonderful article in the paper about a therapist who is 99 years and still in private practice. She is a woman who has seen much and gone through much. I excerpt this material from an article written by Steve Lopez for Los Angeles Times on September 14, 2008.

"I was put on this Earth to accomplish certain things," says Hedda Bolgar, a psychologist and psychoanalyst. "I'm so far behind I can never die."

She led her interviewer into her office, where she meets with clients, some of them therapists themselves, and whatever burden they carry into this room - the lost of a spouse, regret, guild, fear of death - Bolgar knows something of the experience, having lived through revolutions, war, and famine. She left Vienna the day Hitler came in. Her parents were friends of Carl Jung and urged her to work to meet society's unmet needs.

The secret to a long and healthy life, Bolgar says, is to be a citizen of the world. She has joined anti-war protests and fought against prejudice...

"You need to be invested. You have to care about what happens."

The rest of the article documents the tremendous impact she has had on others lives. It is so uplifting and inspiring to see a woman who is only looking forward, not back, despite many experiences we would consider difficult to deal with, including losing relatives in the Holocaust. Certainly a wonderful lesson!


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