Monday, September 17, 2012

Take Your Time

Judge not your brother.
Walk a mile in his shoes.
You'll see he's doin' the best that he can do.
Like me and you.

Eric Bibb
Hello Lily
I confess that in my younger years I had little patience with older folks. I thought they were slow, ignorant, muddle headed and altogether a drain on society. I was a member of the never-trust-anyone-over-30 generation. By the time I was 31 I had realized the foolishness of that prejudice. I had simply ignored the fact that older people had lived longer than I and undoubtedly had lessons and life experiences I knew nothing about.

My education into the world of older folks began to grow as I worked with actors who were older and more experienced not only about acting but about life, love, success and happiness. When I heard about struggles, lost opportunities and lost loves I realized there were scars from wounds I never had and might not have if I was lucky and paid attention.

I'm grateful to say I didn't have to reach the age of 31 before I began to see the real gold in those who had lived twice as long or longer than I had. The old geezer sitting on a park bench feeding the pigeons, or walking haltingly down the street with a newspaper stuck under his arm, or the old lady on the bus with leggings tucked under her skirt, or being pushed in her wheelchair, may be the owners of amazing stories of adventure and survival.

I met such a woman one day. She had a story to tell. Her husband would push her around in her wheelchair every afternoon in good weather. I saw them frequently. One day I stopped to talk and found out that years ago she entered a contest for a new bread recipe. She won it, they gave her a chuck of money and named the bread after her. It can still be found on some supermarket shelves.

One day I was in a supermarket line and in front of me was a very old woman. When she reached the check out with her few purchases she fumbled in her purse for her money. The man behind me grumbled and told her to hurry up. I turned and said to him "She's an old lady, she's lived a long life and she has a right to dodder if she wants to." Then I said to her "You take your time sweetheart." She looked up at me with a big smile and said "Thank you sir."

Now that I have achieved senior citizenship (or, old manhood, if you must) there are those around me who think I'm a doddering old fool. I live alone, walk slowly, don't use dope or listen to rap. What good am I? But beware, if I'm at the check out and you tell me to hurry up you might get an earful you'll regret

DB - The Vagabond
Never give up.


Arlene (AJ) said...

Such a touching read DB. Seems like every one is always in such a hurry today and don't stop to enjoy the moment. Wouldn't it be great if all people would show respect to the seniors who have given so much in their lives to make every one elses world a better place.

Liz said...

If I am at the checkout behind you don't worry I won't tell you to hurry up because I will be using every available moment to check I haven't forgotten anything.
Oh, and yes, I will be mumbling to myself as I go over the shopping list for the nth time..

Ken Riches said...

If we only take the time to listen, there are many things to hear and learn.