Take it from an over 60. Getting old is not for cowards. In fact, anyone who lives past the age of 65 should be given the title of hero.
Why, you ask? Have you ever considered the following:
Younger people who complain about having to climb stairs should try climbing those same stairs with arthritic knees. Better still, try it with a cane. Even better, try it with a walker. See what I mean? We oldsters don’t just climb stairs. We meet the enemy and overcome it, with resourcefulness, determination and courage. I’m not saying it’s like climbing The Matterhorn, but it’s related.
What about having to step over the edge of a bathtub? … Oh, wait. Scrap that one. We use that as the best excuse to buy one of those step-in whirlpool baths, where you can sit and let the warm water massage you all over while you sip a Martini (shaken, not stirred, just like James Bond) and dream of having adventures in luxury hotels on tropical islands…
Where was I?
Oh yes. Children of today are taught to use computers at an early age. By the time they are 10 years old, they are experts. We, on the other hand, were taught to use pens, no. 2 pencils, rulers, paper, libraries and encyclopedias. We memorized multiplication tables. We wrote letters by hand. We sent telegrams or made phone calls when we had to get news to someone fast. To many of us, computers are as alien as a visitor from Pluto. (There is the occasional weird specimen, like me, who loves gadgets and is always dying to delve into the latest version of Windows with all those cool apps, but we are a rare species, probably on the Endangered List.)
What am I getting at? Well, just imagine a person with a 60 year old brain and a natural aversion to spending money for computers and software, who figured s/he was finished long ago with having to learn, study and memorize, sitting in front of a funny machine and trying to make it do things. It’s a brave, new world, and not everyone is eager to explore it.
Heroes! They are even more heroic if the speakers are on and they do not flinch when the machine makes unexpected noises at them, like something in a Twilight Zone episode.
When it comes to cell phones, young people should watch us and learn. You will almost never see us walking down the street while talking on any device. It isn’t that we can’t walk and talk at the same time; it’s just that we’re not used to it. We all grew up with only wall phones and desk phones. Cordless devices and earphones were things of the future. When you were holding a telephone receiver to your ear, you either sat down or stood in one place. You could only walk as far as the phone cord would stretch. We transferred the same association to hand-held phones. You talk on a phone, you don’t walk around. It’s as simple as that.
If everyone walking down a sidewalk holding a phone conversation would stop first and stay stopped until the call ended, this would be a better world.
You will just about never see an old person holding a loud phone conversation on a bus or train, and we don’t text while driving, either. This reluctance to indulge in instant communication at bad times gets people really pissed off at us, but so what? Heroes follow their own paths, and to Hell with consequences.
In some cultures, old people are revered. In others, they are left out to die. In others, like ours, they are expected to keep up with the times, then fade away somewhere and be half-forgotten. What we don’t realize is that old people are pretty damn cool. We still have a lot to give, in our heroic way.
I could go on and on, but I won’t.