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Weekly Wisdom 5-4-2016

Post Date: 
Wednesday, May 4, 2016


I saw the musical, Newsies, at the Seattle Paramount on Saturday.  It was inspired by the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899.  Young newspaper sellers, working for Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Heart’s newspapers, purchased newspaper bundles, 100 for 50 cents. In 1898, the publishers increased the price by 10 cents to 60¢. A large number of the newsboys refused to distribute newspapers at the new price. They demonstrated across the Brooklyn Bridge; requested support from the public; and when Pulitzer tried to hire older men to do the work, the men wouldn’t do it. They supported the boys. Eventually, while the newspapers didn’t lower the cost, they did agree to buy back all unsold papers, satisfying the Newsies and ending the strike after about 2 weeks.

Lyrics from Seize the Day

Open the gates and seize the day
Don't be afraid and don't delay
Nothing can break us
No one can make us
Give our rights away
Arise and seize the day 

Remember a movie where young men were encouraged to seize the day?  Answer: John Keating (Robin Williams) in Dead Poets Society.  He taught the Welton Academy boys about more than just poetry — he taught them about making the most out of life. 

Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Don’t be resigned to that.  Break out! Carpe, carpe. Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.

I read an article this week about Sally Field, the actress. I’m old so remember her as The Flying Nun…7:30pm on Friday nights. In those days prime time began at 7pm!  The article was published in The Magazine, published by AARP (don’t judge!). Full article available online at She talks about her new film, Hello, My Name is Doris. The interviewer, of course, asks about roles for an aging women and aging in Hollywood.  The director of the film, Michael Showalter, says about Sally,

The cast and crew were in awe of Field…she established for everyone involved a bar about the kind of work she was going to want to do. She didn’t have a trailer; she sat on the floor between takes. She was all about the work she did in front of the camera. We were all really inspired by that.

Sally herself says, “Doris doesn’t see herself as older.” (Field) can relate to that perception. “I’ll be walking down the street in New York and I’ll get a quick mental image of me at 25 and go, What wait! Hold on! How old am I? I forget, and I will even go, OK, I’m not 25, OK, wait, I’m --- oh my God!  You forget because inside you stay the same.

May our age not define what we can accomplish. Seize the day!


I write Weekly Wisdom as the Executive Director of Human Resources at Central Washington University. Having an eye for meaningful things, I include my own observations and thoughts, ideas I’ve recently encountered, and/or topics that are of current importance. I like to think that others will find reading Weekly Wisdom worth their time.  

Staci Sleigh-Layman

Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.