Norman Lear Reflects on 'the Moment,' Pens Op-Ed on 100th Birthday - Rolling Stone
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Norman Lear Says ‘Treasure’ the Moment, Pens Op-Ed to Mark 100th Birthday

“Living in the moment, the moment between past and present, the present and past. The moment between after and next,” TV legend says

UNSPECIFIED: 78th Annual GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured in this screengrab released on February 28, Norman Lear speaks during the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards broadcast on February 28, 2021. --  (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)UNSPECIFIED: 78th Annual GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured in this screengrab released on February 28, Norman Lear speaks during the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards broadcast on February 28, 2021. --  (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Norman Lear

NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Norman Lear dispensed some words of wisdom to his legion of (present and future) Instagram followers ahead of the trailblazing TV producer’s 100th birthday Wednesday.

Despite now being a century old, Lear remains active on social media, doling out his “Breakfast Thoughts” on the occasional morning. And on Tuesday, hours before he turned 100, Lear encouraged his followers to live in “the moment” in a special, birthday-themed segment of his Instagram series.

“I’ve been doing Breakfast Thoughts, and I guess my Breakfast Thought at the moment is the moment,” Lear said.

“Every person who is seeing me now — some are seeing me within months of my saying this, some are likely to see this years after — I have said, but whenever all of you are seeing it, that will be the moment you’re seeing it. As this is the moment I’m saying it.”

Lear continued, “And what that means to me is living in the moment, the moment between past and present, the present and past. The moment between after and next, the hammock in the middle of after and next. The moment. Treasure it. Use it with love.”

The celebrated sitcom producer behind The Jeffersons and All in the Family opened and closed his Instagram video by singing a few lines from Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore,” a crooner who Lear worked on The Dean Martin Comedy Hour with, as Lear reminisced.

Lear also marked his centennial with a guest column in the New York Times that both celebrated his 100th birthday as well as expressed concern about the future of democracy following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

“Well, I made it. I am 100 years old today. I wake up every morning grateful to be alive,” Lear wrote.

“Reaching my own personal centennial is cause for a bit of reflection on my first century — and on what the next century will bring for the people and country I love. To be honest, I’m a bit worried that I may be in better shape than our democracy is.”

Lear cited one of his best-known characters, the conservative Archie Bunker, to highlight the “alarming” challenge that democracy faces.

“For all his faults, Archie loved his country and he loved his family, even when they called him out on his ignorance and bigotries,” Lear wrote. “If Archie had been around 50 years later, he probably would have watched Fox News. He probably would have been a Trump voter. But I think that the sight of the American flag being used to attack Capitol Police would have sickened him.”

Wrapping up his op-ed, however, Lear shared a message of optimism: “This is our century, dear reader, yours and mine. Let us encourage one another with visions of a shared future. And let us bring all the grit and openheartedness and creative spirit we can muster to gather together and build that future.”

In This Article: Norman Lear

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