Good People Doing Good Things — Rose

This week’s ‘good people’ post is a little different than usual.  A friend posted this on Facebook a few days ago, and I found it to be so inspiring that I wanted to share it with you.  While Rose wasn’t saving lives or rescuing animals, didn’t donate a million dollars to a worthy cause, she did something for others that I think makes her a ‘good people’.  She shared timeless words of wisdom, and inspired many.  I hope you’ll agree that Rose is worthy of being this week’s good person.

An 87-Year-Old College Student Named Rose.


The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned round to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being. She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze.

“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked.

She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…”

“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

“I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months, we would leave class together and talk nonstop.

I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experience with me. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us.

She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.”

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.” She concluded her speech by courageously singing “The Rose.”

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.

At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.

When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they’ll really enjoy it! These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.


We make a Living by what we get, We make a Life by what we give.

46 thoughts on “Good People Doing Good Things — Rose

  1. Dear Jill,

    Rose gave out sound advice. Always having a dream means that you’ll always have hope. Life’s too short to miss out. As for me, I’m praying that the end of President Trump’s reign of terror is almost here.

    CNN is reporting that the FBIs Mueller report on its Trump-Russia probe will be finalized by end Frb. 2019. Seeing is believing.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fingers crossed, can’t wait for the impeachment proceedings to begin. House dems are counting on this report… hopefully the AG doesn’t classify this important report and try to snuff it from public view.


    • My dreams are the same as yours, but you already knew that. As you say, seeing is believing. I just hope he has found the links that will lead to either an indictment (unlikely) or impeachment. Soon, before the dark circles beneath my eyes make me look like a zombie!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In a bizarre way this reminds me of my recent post, “DEATH is not Optional, But what if an AFTERLIFE was?” Also of one of my favourite wisdom T-shirts: You have to grow old, but you don’t have to grow up!
    Like your anonymous commentator, I too have read a similar story, if not the same one. But the message is the important thing, not where the story came from. It could be fiction, but it could also be real…
    Keep passing it on.
    I myself didn’t get my BSW until I was 57, so I know it is possible. But I also know the mind only works at top-gear for just so long. My first 3 years back in school I got Straight A’s, but that 4th year I was so exhausted I could barely think. I struggled to get B’s, and even got one C. But I made it!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dear Jill : I am going to rain on your parade and in the interests of anonymity will post as anonymous due to my cowardly nature! This post has been making the rounds on social media since 2013. Now, I would not know this on my own but it was sent to me by my Son at the time along with the truth surrounding it, because it tickled him as I had just retired and was at odds with what to do next. It gave me some much needed direction when I lacked it and I saved the email. Imagine my smiles as I saw the photo of “Rose” and again read the story. The story is attributed to Dan Clark’s 1999 book “Chicken Soup for the College Soul : Inspiring and Humorous Stories About College”. I never bothered to verify that claim. The photo that appears with the 2013 post and yours is actually a woman named Nola Ochs. She graduated from Fort Hays State University in 2007 at 95 years of age, along with Alexanra Ochs, her 21 year old Granddaughter. Nola became the 2017 Guinness Record Holder as the world’s oldest college graduate. It should also be noted that she earned her Master’s degree in 2010 at the age of 98! The story of “Rose” is certainly lovely and may or may not be based on someone real, that is really unimportant in the long run. What is important is the message of the story…Growing older is mandatory, growing up is optional! To Nola and all the “Rose’s”…carry on! Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You didn’t rain on my parade, my friend. While I typically research what I write, I didn’t in this case because a) I had only a first name, no date, no college name, so not much to go on, and b) it was posted by somebody I trust to not post “fake news”. However, I did question in my mind, but since I could see no possible benefit or ulterior motive for somebody making this up and posting it, I ran with it. And I probably would again, for it is more about the message, the inspiration, than about the identity of the cast. So, thank you for pointing it out to me, dear Ellen! (See, you can’t stay anonymous!)


  4. Absolutely true. Isn’t it interesting that all the good advice one hears that immediately resonates with the soul so that it understands the truth of it says nothing about aiming to be rich or powerful?


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