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Exploring the feelings behind the worldview theme--another project WORLDVIEW  theme song...  

song for theme #52: Independent Living for the Sick, Disabled, Old

“Caring Respect” by Stephen P. Cook

to be sung to the tune of “Seventy Six Trombones” by Meredith Wilson (from The Music Man)


[with upbeat loud enthusiastic tempo]

 At seventy-six my old bones hope to be keeping up

And at one hundred and ten finally left behind1,2

I plan to give it all I’ve got to call my own shot

Independent Living3 is what I have in mind


At seventy-six I hope to still be giving back4

So they think of me at birthday hundred and ten

Inability to meet my needs will bring me to my knees

It’s not a matter of if, but when


[transition to quieter but still enthusiastic tone]


I know this old body will soon break down

Old and sick, old and sick, pain gets in the way

A double wheeled chair for me and stay indoors

My goal, is to delay that day




All of us young and old have special needs

Take care of me, take care of me

Please be extra kind

Help out where I can

Empathize5 that’s been my plan

With caring respect to both give and find


[transition to softer, slower, subdued, quiet] 


Helpless when we enter this world

That’s how we leave6

Humbly, humbly we end up where we start

If I’m helpful to others along way

With caring respect

I’ll die having done my part

SONG—NOTES / COMMENTS     (this song is part of the author’s personal story)

1— Perhaps this song should be classed as semi-autobiographical?  It honors the author’s father—who, when his young children

      told him he was really old, told them he felt like he was one hundred and ten. In latter years the joke was he would live to that

      age (he died just short of ninety-two).  Just a couple of years before his death, he announced he really loved musicals. Perhaps

      The Music Man was especially a favorite! 

2— According to a Vanguard Group retirement planning calculator, the chance that a married couple—each 76 years old, call

      them John and Mary—will live to be 110 years old are: 0.01% for John, 0.16% for Mary.

      Other research suggests that today’s British sixteen year olds have a 25% chance of living to at least age 100.

3—Independent Living typically refers to the expressed desires of elderly people and people with disabilities to 1) have the

      opportunity and responsibility to make their own decisions and 2) exercise their right to control their own lives.

4—Being socially responsible­—meaning acting in a way that benefits society.

5—Empathy refers to "fellow feeling", that is imagining that you are in the other person’s shoes and experiencing his or her

      feelings, struggles, fears, pain, etc. Often empathy è compassion. Using a phrase from a yoga sutra, cultivating an attitude of

      “compassion for the unhappy” is a plan that for many is worthy of consideration.

6—Human beings just after birth or just before death are typically helpless.

Comment: this theme may have value as emotional armor in that feeling independent and self reliant can help overcome fears of an unknown (perhaps totally dependent) future. Watching elderly people deal with stress spawned a new term among social science researchers. As Carver and Connor-Smith describe it, “The notion of accommodative coping derives from the process of successful aging…It refers to adjustments within the self that are made in response to constraints. [Adjustments include] acceptance, cognitive restructuring, and scaling back one’s goals.” The disabled can also benefit from aspects of this coping style.

                      back to theme #52

the above song is part of The Worldview Theme Song Book: Exploring the Feelings Behind Worldviews--click here for more information

Musicians--We'd love it if you perform this song!  Please contact us!