Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wisdom from the Aged

When I was younger I was afraid of the elderly. I have no idea why. Maybe it was from not being around grandparents and those that were much older than my parents. I never got comfortable around those much older than me until I met my husband and spent time with his grandparents.

Since then I have developed and appreciation and, dare I say, love for the elderly. Not in the way that would lead me to work in a nursing home, but I love to talk to them, loving their perspective on things. I love the fact that they rarely mince words. I don't know if it comes from their lack of inhibitions, feeling life is too short, or a little dementia in some rare cases. However, when I meet an elderly person, I love to talk to them.

I believe we can learn a lot from the elderly. They have seen so much. Just think of how the world was just 75 years ago and all the advances, changes, wars, and wonders that have occurred. Someone who has seen all of that, lived through raising a family, jobs, life, death has to have more wisdom than me. I feel I'm much wiser than I was 20 years ago so I KNOW they have to have wisdom I would love to have.

This brings me to my encounter today in the post office. I entered the post office behind a very elderly gentleman. Kind face, larger than necessary dentures and slightly stooped. He smiled with those glassy, watery eyes and offered for me to go ahead of him. "Ladies first" he told me. I declined since I had a few international packages to mail, but he insisted.

He then began telling me "ladies first" is what his mother taught him. "She taught me a lot of things" he said and then chuckled to himself, seeming to think fondly of her. The slight gleam in his eye gave me the impression that maybe she wasn't quite the saint I would picture teaching her son chivalry. "Good things I'd imagine" I quipped back fishing for a little more. "Oh, yes," he said thinking and remembering.

Then came the gem of wisdom I always look for. He then added "She also taught me 'It's better to watch women wiggle, than to hear them rattle' ".

I laughed out loud, really loud, and had to cover my mouth. I absolutely love that! He didn't say much more, but I believe that was enough wisdom for me today.

Oh, and btw..when we got to the front of the line, HE went first.

I love old people!

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