I admit, I am such a baby boy. I am too soft and kind hearted. I don’t understand how some people do the stuff they do, I can’t even hurt a fly with my hands; I let my Insecticide do the job. Recently, I’ve craved spending time with very old people, I just enjoy watching them talk and move. Whenever I see one in a BRT standing, I quickly give up my seat and watch them seat, if I see anyone on the streets carrying something heavy, I quickly offer to help. No I’m not trying to be a good boy, I just love coming closer to them, even if words aren’t exchanged. There’s something about their aura that heightens my humaneness.
Most times I try to wonder what goes through their minds as they navigate through their day. How different is the world now from what it used to be forty years ago. Do they wish they did something different? When I look at their wrinkled faces, I try to imagine the spotless beauty that covered this face during their youth. When I see them frantically holding on to pillars for support, I try to reimagine the swagger with which they moved around in their pomposity.
I’ve noticed quite a whole lot of striking similarities between old people. One of them is that, nothing seems to matter anymore, none of the things we hurriedly worry about. An old man once insisted I gave him the broom to sweep, I didn’t understand why at such old age you would want to bend down and sweep. It got me thinking; as young humans, we demand so much respect, we want to feel important and respected, but these guys have seen it all and they realise all that counts for nothing.
Old people also don’t like to admit they are old. Isn’t it funny? Because as young people, we try so hard to convince people that we are old enough, we never want to revel in the innocence and exuberance of our youth. We always want to speak like King Solomon and dress like Benjamin Button, just so we’d convince people that we aren’t young. But here’s an old man frantically trying to do things to convince those who care to listen that they’ve still got fire in their bones.
Old age is exciting, little wonder most of them tell you they have no regrets. It’s a blessing to live long. I can bet there’s no way they would have lived this long if all they did was regret the decisions they took or didn’t take years ago. Another crazy juxtaposition because we young people are so fond of living in regrets. You cry everyday about the actions you didn’t take that you end up missing out on the present opportunity starring you in the face all because you’ve got your eyes still fixated on the past. No one moves forward with their gaze behind. No one.
Old people smile a lot when they see us young people strut our stuff. I haven’t been able to ask them what fuels that smile. I like to see that smile as an approval; an approval to enjoy life and make all the mistakes you possibly can while you are young. An approval that no matter how careful you are, you still need to fail a little so you can succeed plenty.
Old people understand the power of words. Once they send a “God bless you my son” your way, they nudge you to say “Amen”. They understand how powerful words are. Another wonder about old age is if there’s a knowledge bank where old people just go to freely to access nuggets. I haven’t met an old man who didn’t have some real truths to spill. Is it something that comes from experience?
When next you see an old person, take a pause, if you notice, they are never in a hurry, so where are you always rushing to? There’s really never a missed opportunity that doesn’t come back. Take a pause and appreciate the beauty of old age, bask in the euphoria of your youth and visualise yourself one day with grey hairs and weak bones and an ever cheerful smile. Take time to appreciate the soothing air and landscape around you for in less than no time, they would be your greatest companions.
What are you currently doing to ensure your old age is blissful? Old age really is the annuity returns you get from your investments as a youth. Have you started investing towards your old age?