A little dose of humanity

It is no secret to those who know me that I have an extreme soft spot for the elderly. Perhaps it was because I was unbelievably fortunate to have all four of my grandparents live until I was in my mid-twenties, and they have all been significant influences on my life. I think it’s remarkably important but easily ignored that we need to acknowledge older people, to not marginalize them. Many of them had difficult lives, especially those who have been through world wars and the great depression. The modern world is somewhat mystifying to the people who were born in the age of the model T, and they have had to make amazing adjustments just to make it this far.

I know I have been slightly less than enthusiastic about James Lileks’ new blog role on buzz.mn, but the Mpls bridge disaster last week caused me to spend some time on the website trolling for information. And I hit an unexpected and unrelated gem when doing so. Today for a little dose of humanity, perhaps a bit of empathy, appreciation and even admiration for a total stranger (and I don’t mean JL, although the writing is fantastic), I ask you to take the time to read this anecdote about two elderly folks at a grocery store, from Lileks over on the buzz site.

If you have grandparents, elderly parents, widowed or never married distant relatives of any sort, I hope you take the time to tell them how much their sacrifices have been and are appreciated. It’s so easy to get caught up in life, in work, and to spend any available family time looking down the generation tree at the children. But it’s so very important to look up the tree and show a little love to the elders. In my experience, they want nothing from you but some of your time, and the rewards are priceless. On a personal note, I cannot wait to take the big plane across the big pond (17 days and counting!) and sit down and kiss my own nonagenarian grandmother.

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