In June, 16 residents of the Oak Park Arms gathered for the first meeting of a new program titled Philosophers’ Roundtable. The brain child of Executive Director Moses Williams, the program features the quotes and thoughts of the philosophers of antiquity and how those thoughts apply in today’s world.
“People who have lived as long as our residents are philosophers in their own right,” Williams said. “The roundtable gives them a means of expression about life lessons.”
Williams feels strongly that the Oak Park Arms should be more than a place to be safe. Residents are indeed safe, but it should be “…witness to a new season in life.”
To that end, the roundtable’s point is to encourage independent thinking and to share thoughts with others. The exchange that happens in conversation is invaluable on many levels.
For example, Plato said that the greatest wealth is to live content with very little. Residents agreed that the accumulation of wealth and “things” took up the first two thirds of life, and the paring down took place in the last third. All agreed that contentment came later and independently of wealth.
“The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” Said by Aristotle, the great Greek scientist and teacher who lived 384 – 322 BC, the quote resonated with residents at the roundtable. The end of the quote is easy enough to understand, but the first part is more thought-provoking. Does he mean that life lessons come only from painful experiences? Or that learning is tedious, difficult or unpleasant?
“It’s fascinating to listen to the discussions,” Williams said. “The roundtable is in its infancy, but I hope it leads to learning, research and enjoyment.”
The Oak Park Arms is a rental retirement community which provides independent and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.
For more information call 708-386-4040.