Writing yesterday I alluded to the fact that being in a residence for independent seniors brings to the front of our view that we are at risk to be ignored by everyone else. Now by saying that I don’t mean that our families just walk away and leave us. Mostly that is not the case. But the reality is that we are deemed “less than.” Less brains, less physical ability and less important. We are the ignored minority.
I love the poems by Ogden Nash and this idea brought to mind a poem that brings out this point very clearly.
People expect old men to die, They do not really mourn old men. Old men are different. People look At them with eyes that wonder when… People watch with unshocked eyes; But the old men know when an old man dies.
This is so very true.. and yet the collection of wisdom, knowledge and ideas here is amazing. We are blessed with so many who have designed things now used by everyone, were professors in just about every field of endeavor. written books both fiction and non-fiction. I could go on and on. We are still alive, thinking, giving, sharing and loving.
In a more alert world we would be considered the “institutional memory” that is so important. It helps to keep us from making the same mistakes over and over.
We are here! We are useful! We are wise! Ignore us and you will be the ones who are “less than”
I am better. So how and in what way? It is the strangest thing but it feels as if someone has turned a switch and my mood is more positive. I don’t know if it is getting the right meds or that linked with just the passing of time.
I realize now that I have been crying daily for almost 2+ years. A lot has happened and much change has had to be absorbed but it seems as if life is just moving on. I still cry when struck by memories and things that trigger them but it is more random.
I do feel as if the tears were necessary and cleansing and helped me share the pain in an outward way. I accept that. Now it is time to begin living in a new way. Now if covid will diminish it will be possible to get back to church (which I have missed terribly) and the other activities that I enjoy.
Today there has apparently been a lot of conversation about the Jeep commercial on the ball game last night. This whole thing is such a mystery to me. People are taking sides and giving their opinions of what was meant and why it was done. What about just considering what was said and how the words themselves have make people think. The fact that there has been so much discussion certainly lets us know that it struck a chord whether good or bad.
Instead of just fussing about each side what would happen if those talking could think about why this brought out so many opinions and thoughts? What if real discussion could take place and questions could be asked about what could be done to change the reality of so many splits today and why everyone has taken a “my way or the highway” position. When I was in my 20’s and 30’s people were allowed to take a different position without is causing anger and vituperation. Is there any going back? Is there any way to change? I hope to God there is.
Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it’s like to live inside somebody else’s skin. Frederick Buechner in “Wishful Thinking.”
Compassion is a wonderful thing. It helps us to be kind to others. It is a gift. To be able to understand what someone else is going through on a deep level can be enlightening.
There is also another side to compassion. One can feel the pain so deeply that they are too involved. We have to have the ability to know that although we understand we are not that person. Sometimes people who feel other’s pain very deeply are called “empaths.” Empaths often have trouble removing themselves from the situation. They become so involved that it may not help the other person and can be harmful to them. That is why Buechner calls it a “sometimes fatal capacity.”
This is one of those things for which we have to find balance. Compassion is needed for us to be loving people. But we do have to be able to discriminate between what is enough and what is too much? It can be a tricky thing to do.