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Leader's Insight: Redefining Heroes

Gordon MacDonald on the elderly, his recent trip to South Korea, and becoming a foot-washer.

• From my journal: Some provocative TV moments came the other morning when Robin Roberts of Good Morning America instantly added forty years to her age. With the help of Hollywood makeup artists, the 45-year-old Roberts not only assumed the appearance of an 85-year-old woman but also, using technical devices provided by Boeing, simulated the physical limitations and the aches and pains of one.

Out in public, the disguised Roberts experienced the snickers of young people and the impatience of those who were more vigorous.

As a pretend 85-year-old, Roberts found herself unable to climb stairs without a cane, to reach her arms higher than her shoulders for a can of food on the grocery store shelf, or to rise up out of a living room chair unless she had assistance. And that was the beginning. Every moment she was conscious of an unreliable body. Call it an awakening for her … and for me.

I thought it interesting when Roberts came to the conclusion that much of the everyday achievements ...

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