I do. I love old people.
Yeah, I spend a lot of time complaining about their driving (whether I´m in a hurry or not). About how they should not be allowed to drive any more.
But when it really comes down to it, I love old people. I´m proud that I live in a country where they can still be independent. Where they can go to the grocery store if they want to. Or out with friends.
I´m incredibly fortunate at 25 to have both sets of grandparents alive and well. My mom´s parents just celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary – 60 freakin´ years! That´s absolutely amazing! I have learned so much about life (and love, and the way things work) from my grandparents that I don´t know where I´d be without them. I have fond memories growing up of spending time with my grandparents, and their friends.
Old people have so much wisdom. So often they are looked upon as out of touch with reality, out of touch with today´s society. But I submit that they are more in touch with reality than many younger people in todays society. These older people have been through the wringer and come out the other side, full of strong character and life experience. We as a younger generation should above all respect that and take the time to listen to the stories our old people tell. Listen and learn.
Learn about what it was like to live through a huge depression, where food was literally scarce. To live through world upheavals and wars. To live in a society that still rewarded people for strong character, for honest and integrity, and for fidelity. A society that was more concerned about what was morally right than what someone´s feelings were. After all, what is a hurt feeling compared to a moral sin?
What would happen, I wonder, if the youth of today were required to be mentored by an old person. To help take care of an old person. To listen and learn, and to grow in so doing. My guess is that society would be a different place. Perhaps we wouldn´t be sliding down the slippery slope into oblivion, because I believe that´s where we´re headed. And it SEEMS like so few in our society see it. Or have the character and the guts to stand up and make themselves heard.
I wonder, would we listen?
Not at first, that´s for sure. Because I can almost guarantee that right now someone with character is standing up and saying HOLD IT! But do we hear it? No.
Perhaps we´ve forgotten how to listen? How many of us have no idea what´s happening in politics today? I know I´m definitely weak in that area, much to my shame. How many of us have never volunteered to help people, in a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter or a home? How many of us have no true understanding and appreciation of what the phrase “to serve” means?
I think old people are best at these things. Perfect? By no means. But definitely stronger than the vast majority of the rest of us.
So get up off your butt. Turn off your computer. Go hug and old person, and have a good conversation. I imagine you´ll enjoy it and learn something about life and yourself in the process.