This post is in response to the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge
In my FaceBook feed I once saw a poem that is supposedly (dare I say hoax) based an old man who died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town. It was believed that he had nothing left of any value. Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions they supposedly found a poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were supposedly made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.
Cranky Old Man….. ( an abridged version)
What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
The poem then goes on to relate the life events that define him. It ends with (causing tear or two)
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man . Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. …. . ME!!
After reading this I began to contemplate my thoughts on what the author was trying to express. Maybe they were just talking about the aged but my opinion is the ideals within the poem can go much further. How easy is it for us to view others from our own shoes rather than considering those they are walking in?
We see young children around us. How often have you heard people complain they are too loud, moving too fast, breaking something.
“That would never have happened in my day”,
“I’m too busy I have (insert whatever it is adults / older siblings do) I can’t play with you”
“I haven’t got time to coach a junior team”.
Young children are just opening their eyes to the world. They have so much to offer yet can be overlooked because too often too many see experience as only coming with age. I work with children and I could write a book based on the classic wisdoms that come from their mouths.
Not a time consuming child.
Look closer . . . . see … ME!
One full of enthusiasm, zealous, not jaded, maybe loud and fast but there is so much to try!!
Picture today’s youth.
“Spend too much time on electronic gadgets”
“Don’t socialise correctly”
“Life is too easy ”
“ Too full of self-worth”.
They have grown up in an era where we have moved beyond communication being limited by distance. They live in a world where ‘friends’ may have wider concept than it did before. Their mode of communication may be new but expression of feelings, ideas, beliefs and desires are still important. Having two grown up children I have witnessed their passions for such things as universal well-being of all, fights for justice, desires to conform, desires to be different. They may want different justices etc but they still have the same desire to be heard as did others before them. Does it really matter if they call friends parents by their first name not “Mrs/ Mr”. Should their wisdoms be dismissed and all we see them as are youth dressing different and walking around with an electronic device attached with love to their hand? Can we not learn to LOL , text and share emoticons as we converse, opening ourselves to a wider friendship circle. Dare I admit to having a friend I met via an internet game on an iPad app?? LOL 🙂
Not an obnoxious youth .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. ME
The passionate, caring one eager to try new things and excited that the world boundaries are gone.
Then there’s that time that stretches out into many long years. I’m going to call it mature years though that may only be in namesake ha ha. It takes us along the journey of life from when we leave the technical youth years to become the parents and then on until we reach the old person referred to in the poem, the one who has seen all seasons. We demand parking spots in shopping centres be it for our pram or our age.
“Wear clothes that aren’t appropriate!” (the audacity of a grandma in shorts let alone swimmers!)
“”Puts the children in day care so they can work – so selfish”
“Won’t mind the grandkids so I HAVE to send them to childcare – so selfish”
“Don’t visit the aged parents enough”
“Work to have expensive holidays and don’t save for old age”.
Just as others before us have done we want the best for our families, we are just as loving and caring. The world is different. We might have different ideals such as the larger home, more cars and overseas trips but it’s still with the best in mind. Who decides what’s best…does difference have to be graded?Source
Not an greedy, uncaring mature person.
Look closer . . . . see .. ME
The one who realises with careful planning you possibly can have it all!
And so to bring my rambles together, I think we need to remember we all bring a bucket full of experiences to the table. They are all valuable to us and can be of use to all if shared. When you observe the actions of another, look first through their bucket. Value them in whole, sneak a few things from them and your bucket will soon be brimming with exciting new dreams and a picture of the world coloured in a way you have never seen before.