I am sad to say this, but I believe it to be true. We are living in a world that is at the height of narcissism. I truly wish that it was not true. But everywhere I look I see it. I am certain that this is not just my perspective. There are families who make millions of dollars by having themselves promoted as someone to “keep up to” and yet there is really no substance to their “reality” show. People become famous for just being famous. Selfies are the standard pastime and TikTok videos are constantly on the rise, even if there is 0% substance to them.
People have become obsessed with being young and beautiful, which is not a new thing. But now we have a format on which they can promote themselves as being young and beautiful. But how many are actually beautiful inside? How many would go out of their way to help someone in need? I don’t think that there are many who would. They would likely not even notice someone in need because they would be too busy taking their latest selfie and monitoring their number of followers. Pathetic.
Christopher Walken is credited with saying, “If you knew how quickly people forget the dead, you would stop living to impress people.” This is so true. We live in a world where your replacement ad at work hits the news faster than your obituary. We have become a dispensable commodity. This is why I enjoy working in my own business as opposed to working for someone else. If I am going to spend time working, then I want to be the one who is in control of how much time and what gets accomplished during that time. I want to be the one who decides when my holidays will be and how many days a week I will work and for how long each day. Self-employment suites me quite well. Of course, there is no paid sick time or holidays. So I have to save up for those things. And sometimes my holiday pay gets put toward sick time instead because I suddenly have an unscheduled holiday because my body is dealing with something. So be it. At least I don’t have to provide a doctor’s note.
The older I get the less I want the hassles of a busy lifestyle. I prefer to have things slow and easy. That way when I rest I get good rest…beauty rest, if you will. The older I get, the more appreciative I have become of my own physical and spiritual beauty. I no longer set goals that only have to do with the illusions and entrapments of “success.” I now get to define for myself what success means. Anyone who disagrees with me will have to stand in line behind all those others who are waiting for me to care about what they think.
I am often reminded that when you are young and beautiful, that is an accident of nature. When you are old and beautiful, you EARNED it. Some of the most beautiful souls I know are much older than am I. And with that beauty of age often comes deep wisdom. We are familiar with the term, “From the mouths of babes.” This speaks to how wisdom and understanding is often expressed by those who have only been on this earth a few years. That is important to recognize. But our culture needs to also get back to recognizing the value, beauty, wisdom and caring that age also provides. I see babies and senior citizens as those who are, on each end of the timeline of life, closer to the Creator from which they have come. So of course there will be deep insights and understandings. If we pay attention to them we can glean so much and get so much nourishment from the passing of knowledge and wisdom. It is time to stop just putting the elderly into care homes and forgetting about their existence. It is time to treat them with the honor and respect that they deserve, because they EARNED IT.
Often I have heard folks talk about how they don’t have the capacity to care for their elderly. So they put them into homes to be cared for. But the homes don’t actually care for them. Too often they are understaffed and over worked and, as a result, neglect and death happen. But caring for the elderly does not necessarily mean putting them in a home (which is outrageously expensive anyway). It can be as simple as a daily check in. That is what phones are for. It can be a couple of times a week coming by to make sure there is food in the fridge, or helping with the vacuuming. It can mean clearing the walk way for the elders in the neighborhood while you are out there doing your own anyway. It doesn’t have to be burdensome to make a huge difference. It doesn’t have to mean having your elderly aunt move in with you to be meaningful. If we allow ourselves the opportunity to get our heads out of our cell phones for a moment and think about the ways in which we can help, as opposed to ignoring it or thinking that it has to be HUGE things that we do, we can find some extremely creative ways to make sure the elders in our families and in our communities are cared for. After all, they have earned it.