??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness

Walk a mile in my shoes!


This post is in response to the WordPress  Weekly Writing Challenge

 Leave Your Shoes at the Door

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.kids

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.

“Too outspoken”

“No manners”

“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.

““Don’t understand us youth!”

“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?study-cognitive-training-aids-older-people-in-L-4_U8lESource

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.

Author: Travelling Macs

A mum to 2 grown up children with young families of their own, who always make me proud. I'm a wife, grandmother,friend, sister, a recently retired teacher and a beginning ukulele player. I love eating great food but am becoming interested in cooking. Love traveling around this great country in which I live and worldwide more recently. Often found traveling with my husband Brian. I write for pleasure and if it's read (and enjoyed) by others then that's a bonus! 2014 saw me begin the 'new' me. Working hard at leaving the fear of 'what if' behind and replacing it with YOLO adventures. :)

15 thoughts on “Walk a mile in my shoes!

  1. A beautiful post!!! What a great teacher you are!

  2. What a great point of view. I have been guilty in the past of not looking at the individual, so I must keep this in mind. 🙂

  3. Nice comparison of thoughts between the two generations. Loved the point on expensive tours.

  4. I think it is so easy to become caught up in our own lives and troubles that we forget about looking at the human beings that share this life with us.

  5. Such a well-written, thoughtful post! I have to confess I have been guilty of seeing my teenage daughter and friends as obsessed with their phones and a little self-absorbed….But you are correct ~ they have come into a world where this kind of communication is normal to them; they know no different really…And there definitely are benefits to connecting with others online 🙂

    I have seen this poem on fb too, but I really like the way you stretched it’s meaning across all generations… Great post 🙂

    • Glad you could relate. I think we all (well most) are guilty if the ‘in my day….” comparison but I think it’s great that we usually end that sentence with positive thoughts of how our days were. 🙂

  6. Elderly aren’t treated as well as they should be treated here in the US. They’re ignored and sometimes abused. I didn’t see much of this when I lived in Europe. They seem to be more aware of the value of seniors.

    • In my own family and friend circle elderly relatives are well cared for and considered. My elderly FIL is in hospital after a bad accident 8 weeks ago. My husband and his brother visit him making sure he has his little pleasures of coffee and foods not available in the hospital. They visit 5 nights a week after having travelled a 2hr commute from work. Normally they both visit him twice a week for dinner to keep in touch. I too had a lot to do with my parents when they were alive ( though sadly they didn’t live to become elderly) as I did with my grandparents but my family was a very tight circle one. I do agree though many do dismiss the elderly forgetting they have so much to give with their experience learnt over time.

  7. This message has been repeated for me this week…. I have read several articles on the same topic. You say it so well. Somewhere in my readings this week I copied down this quote….
    “You can easily say- walk a mile in their shoes, BUT you cannot walk the SAME mile in the SAME pair of shoes.”
    What a better world it would be if we would always remember this and act upon it.
    Thanks for a great reminder of why not to judge others by what you think you see.

    • Thank you for your positive comments on my post. This is a passionate area of mine. I used to be one that judged but somewhere ( I think it came with age’s wisdom) I began to understand the way of the world. My life is happier for it I believe. Glad you popped by and hope to see you here again 🙂

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