Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The young and the old

What is it that differentiates the old from the young?

The young are merry and happy and live in the here and now and are looking forward to the future.

The old live in the past. The future is not something old people like to consider or look forward too. Future for them is increased weakness, death of friends and end of life for themselves.

The young generation of today is on the whole much better of, then the present old generation ever was, when they were young themselves.

Take a wedding for example.
At my own wedding 1941 during the war the cleaning ladies were the sole witnesses at the Magistrate who married us.
At my granddaughters wedding there were 700 invited guests.
I got married one afternoon after work and the next day was an ordinary working day. My granddaughter is leaving for a month trip abroad.

I sat among the 700 invited guests and came home to my four empty walls.
I enjoyed the fact that my granddaughter got married, I enjoyed watching the young crowd sing and dance and make merry, but I felt out of it, as not belonging. I sat at the side and just watched.
If I try to tell somebody how I feel, they tell me not to be foolish. They say how wonderful that your granddaughter is getting married and how wonderful to be at the wedding.

Let me be honest and not pretend and to acknowledge truthfully my own feelings. It is not that I am not happy for my granddaughter to dance all night at her wedding and be merry.
But my own feelings include the fact that I am no longer independent, I need to be picked up, to be helped to get in and out of the car. Somebody has to hold my hand when walking on un-chartered territory, up some steps and down a path. I cannot walk while balancing a plate full of food in my hand. I am constantly depending on somebody to give me a hand.
I know I should be grateful, for there are others who are a lot worse of than myself. But that is hardly a compensation for my own feelings of aloneness and of loneliness that simply hits me in the face.

There is no point in telling me go and do some volunteer work and help others and that will make you feel better. I volunteer in many different ways and help others. I enjoy doing that and get a lot of satisfaction from my volunteer work.
But my feelings are my feelings and should be accepted and I should be allowed to express them as they are. Even if they might sound to others as being unrealistic, to me they are real.

May be therein lies the difference between young and old. Being at the same time at the same event, we feel different about what is going on.
Old peoples thoughts are more likely to turn inwards, to olden times and provoke a different set of feelings.

The young enjoy the here and now, they see the future ahead of them. And it is good that they do so.
A lot of water will flow down the river before they will be old.

No comments: