Eugenie Carmel Gazal is no stranger to work and struggle. In this brief video, she describes how her mother’s example inspired her to start a second career late in life.

I’ve always been a positive person and have tried to reinvent myself with each new experience in life, especially the difficult ones. My mother, Olga, who was widowed at forty-four with a family of girls, taught me the power of resilience and that gender was no barrier in achieving what we want in life. Born in 1890, Olga was a true-blue feminist and wanted her girls to be powerful, professional people. So instead of withdrawing from the world, which can happen following the loss of loved ones, through the encouragement of my children, I embarked on a new journey into the world. In 1987, at the age of twenty-four, my plucky daughter Julianne purchased a travel agency franchise. Within a year, I was her right-hand woman, having retrained as a travel agent. It was quite a departure from my training as a classical violinist, yet being a travel agent felt as naturally to me as performing in an orchestra. My family and I still chuckle about the fact that I was the only sixty-year-old student while my peers in the various travel courses were babes at only eighteen.

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Margaret Irwin West

HopeIrish artist Margaret Irwin West believes that hope is like the sun: even if you can’t see it, it’s always there. In this audio clip, she discusses what inspires her artwork.

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Chan Jae Lee

DeathChan Jae Lee is the 76-year-old founder of Drawings for My Grandchildren, a popular Instagram account (@drawings_for_my_grandchildren) in which he and his wife create paintings and stories for their grandchildren in the U.S. Lee and his wife live in Korea.

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Maria Soerinah Hoetomo

HopeI protested to God. I was angry with him. I felt he was unfair to my family. I did not want to go to church, and I did not pray anymore. I did not want to communicate with the ‘evil’ God. Then one day I found an image of a cross torn in two on the floor in our home. I picked up the pieces and taped it back together. I did not know who tore it up and left it scattered there. However, the event that day changed everything. I cried, staring at the scarred image of the broken cross. I remembered the suffering of Jesus. It was like I was seeing his sorrow and pain right in front of me.

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Joseph Gicheru Chege

StruggleI remember seeing soldiers coming home after the war in 1945 when I was a young boy. We were scared. We were told that Hitler and the French and British would be coming to Nairobi to have some tea and that we should put out our lamps. The French ended up settling in Isiolo, the Germans in Kilimanjaro, and the British Empire took over our country. That was a big deal—it shocked us all. We used to eat our food in the dark because we were afraid of getting bombed.

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