The next time you find yourself getting a little impatient with old people, here are a few things about us that you might want to keep in mind:
Yes, we’re slower than we used to be, but we should be after working like hell for 50-70 years to support ourselves and our families. We have literally walked tens of thousands of miles, lifted thousands of tons, and spent almost half of our entire life doing labor.
If you spot us looking at you, we ain’t looking for trouble, we’re validating you as a person, because we were raised to look folks in the eye, instead of avoiding their gaze. And, we smile at folks we don’t even know. It’s because we love the feeling of watching the smiles of others break free from social stupification.
Heck yeah, we are old fashioned. Why, we’re so bad that if you drop money on the floor, we’ll go way out of our way to return it. Not only that, but believe it or not, we old fuddy-duddies open doors for others, let them go first at checkouts, and find ways to help folks, not screw them.
It ain’t real hard to spot us at sporting events either, because we’re the first ones standing proudly as we sing our national anthem loudly, with our eyes on our flag, not our iphones. And, we not only know all the of words to it, we actually believe them.
While youth might only be familiar with Star Wars, we remember real wars, like World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Gulf War, and the Afghanistan ‘conflict’. And trust us, the admission to them was a lot more costly than tickets to the fictional exploits of Skywalkers, and they were one hell of a lot less entertaining.
Yes, we are growing ancient, and are well aware that we live in a different age today. But for us, it is only one of many. You see, while some may have only known this age, there’s a whole heap of us who have lived through the Steam Age, the Jet Age, the Atomic Age, the Space Age and the Digital Age.
You might consider us to be naive and vulnerable because we trust strangers, but here’s something you should know: animals do not get to be our age by being weak or stupid. Fool us once, shame on us, Fool us twice, and we’ll slap your butt with a restraining order. But, before you attempt to fool us three times, you’d be right wise to reflect on the fact that most of us are real handy, and downright comfortable, with the operation of guns.
If you bump into us on the sidewalk, we’ll meekly apologize. If you pass us on the street, we’ll nod, smile and say hi. You see, we respect people even when they don’t respect themselves. That’s why we get so darn angry and upset when someone curses in public, or when parents expose their kids to all of the filth and dirty language on TV and in movies today.
You see, we have moral courage and personal integrity that we didn’t win playing a video game, and we have moved way beyond the need to brag (unless of course it is about our kids and grand-kids). We remove our hats out of respect in homes, restaurants and places of worship, and believe in the magic of saying “Yes ma’am”, “Yes sir”, “Please”, and “Thank you”.
Each of us have experienced devastating loss, but we’ve also known spectacular joy. We know all too well what it feels like to be overwhelmed, and the soul-numbing loneliness of when no one is around. We have known crushing defeat, but we have also known exhilarating and heart pounding victory.
Yes, I admit that we’re a might slower than we used to be, but only part of that is due to our age The rest is due to the fact that we’re just not in any darn rush to reach the end. So, the next time that you find yourself getting a little impatient with us, please don’t. Instead of wishing we’d hurry up, remind yourself that soon enough you will be old too, and remember that how you treat us, is teaching your children about how to one day treat you.