St Joseph, Model of Workers
April 28, 2021
About your last will and testament…
April 28, 2021

For the Love of the Old

By Darrion M Narine,Programme Coordinator, CCSJ.

An old man who lives alone in his apartment, is sitting in front of the TV watching the 7 p.m. news. He makes his own dinner, and he eats alone on the couch. His pension is able to handle the bills for the most part since he lives a very simple life.

His wife died several years ago, and his children visit him once a year for Christmas, if he is lucky. Yet, when he goes out for his evening stroll, he tries his best to share a smile or some cheer with others, especially young people who are caught up in the hustle and bustle of the world.

You see, sometimes the happiest people are the ones who are the loneliest.

Many older people tend to live like this in the last few years of their life. In fact, there have been cases where people have been found dead in their apartment before anyone even notices.

This is a shortcoming of our humanity. We have grown to take our older people for granted as our world progresses into this warped, individualistic society. Many now view older people as a burden to society and an economic strain since pensions and other government grants have to be given to them. This has caused a movement towards the alienation of older people across the globe.

If we go back to ancient civilisations, protection of the elders was of utmost importance. Elders would give counsel to the younger people within the villages or tribes and help them not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Even within our contemporary societies, it is sometimes the grandmother or grandfather who helps to keep families together. They are oftentimes the brokers of disagreements and family feuds.

They are also extremely patient and are most times the least likely to give up on you. For the Avatar: The Last Air Bender fans out there, Uncle Iroh is a perfect example.

They provide love and counsel and help with the building of the common good by assisting with the raising of their grandchildren, nieces, nephews and even the neighbours’ children.

Their contributions to the fabric of our society and the common good is much greater than any monetary cost and as such, we should not be taking them for granted.

I have learnt so much from the generations above me. I’ve also debated quite a bit with people in their 70s, since the world has evolved, and we may not always see eye to eye.

However, I love the discussions because we are always able to meet somewhere in the middle and one soon comes to realise that history repeats itself. Luckily, progress occurs depending on how we respond to the ‘repeat’.

The social ills of 50 years ago, are still the social ills that we are battling now; the difference is in the approach and the tools that we have at our disposal to change the world.

Many older folks often say that young people are better equipped to fight every cause, but if we listened more (to them) then maybe we would have to fight less, since we would learn from their experiences. I agree with this, since a lot of the tools I have acquired, I have got from listening to people sometimes three times my age.

We oftentimes say protect our children, but I also urge us as a people to protect our old and learn from them. Their experience and love can help us on our journey and even though they may express their love in different ways and communicate differently, they are the reason why we are able to enjoy the world we live in today.

So, hug someone three times your age today (after the pandemic though, for now you can give them an elbow bounce).