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The Velveteen Rabbit – A Modern Elder?

The Velveteen Rabbit = A Modern Elder?


“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off.”

–  Margery Williams Bianco, The Velveteen Rabbit
As a bald guy in his sixties, I can relate. Of course, with or without hair, it’s easy to feel shabby and worn out as you get older, and even more when you’re hanging out with thirty-somethings doing their beach workouts (I don’t ever remember being that limber or svelte).

Fortunately, with receding hairlines and all the sagging bits and bobs of our aging body comes perspective and the wisdom to know how beautiful life can be when we stop inhabiting the playing field of youth…and our bodies.

How wonderful it is to finally (at long last) venture into the timeless (and perfect) world of the heart and soul. After all, this is the natural progression of aging, which is perfectly captured in the full excerpt from “The Velveteen Rabbit,” the story of a stuffed rabbit’s desire to become real through the love of his owner.

Velveteen rabbit
“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

–  Margery Williams Bianco, The Velveteen Rabbit

I say three cheers for the Velveteen Rabbit—our fluffy reminder that it’s time to get “Real” and begin hanging out with people who also “understand” and want to be Real Together!

Are you with me?!

– Chip

Read more from Chip Conley


vELVETEEN rABBITChip Conley is an American hotelier, hospitality entrepreneur, author, and speaker. He is the author of Wisdom @ Work.


Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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