One of the things about running a blog is that you receive comments from people scattered around the world. As always when you let everyone have their say, some of the comments are great and others are critical. I have no standard procedure for dealing with them.
But today’s mail brought a comment from someone who says: “You mentioned at the beginning that you never really liked the term “old person,” but I bet that is because you associate old with a lot of the negative stereotypes that our society reiterates to us. Things like, ‘all older people are lonely, sad, complaining, etc.’ I am glad to hear your perspective may be changing away from some of these negative beliefs.”
I’m not really sure that I never liked old people. Now that I have joined the club and live happily among them, I like them. They are kind, mostly smiling, helpful, and considerate. They are interesting and sometimes fascinating. More important, they, I mean we, have come to terms with life. The rat-race is over for us. Not that we dropped out; we retired. We are still with you but sitting in the bleachers, watching the world from the sidelines, anxious to see that you newcomers carry on our good work.
In out 80 years of management we brought the world from a short-lifespan, smelly, disease ridden, pedestrian society to one of health and longevity. We got rid of the worst diseases and showed you how to work on the rest. We brought in education, transport and technology; we did a million different things to improve the world. Some bad stuff got caught up in there as well, but that’s inevitable.
I spend much time, these days, listening to seniors’ stories. They are simply amazing. Sometimes it’s impossible to grasp what the human being can endure, survive and reach an old age and still be able to tell the story. I like us old people… Old people are awesome!