Monday, September 22, 2008

Old People

Seek out old people. When you find some, give them joy.

Listen closely. Be useful. Bring the gift of yourself.

Be voluntary. Visit with magic.

Try playing their game. Let wisdom seep in.

Cradle your own future old person. Be gentle. Listen closely.

Pay attention to an old person. The treasures will be revealed.

from Sark, A Creative Companion

I have this quote posted on the bulletin board beside my desk at work and love its simplicity and wisdom. I work with "old people", some of whom are really very young in spirit and others who are truly ancient.

I have been looking for some old people to photograph as an illustration for this post. A white haired lady was walking her dog in the park but when she turned around she appeared vibrant and healthy and not old at all.

One of my friends will be 80 next year. He writes on my Facebook wall frequently and keeps in touch with people all around the world. He has a bounce in his step and an interest in everything and everyone around him. Is he old? I think not!

This couple brought their lawn chairs to the park and were sitting in the afternoon sun at the edge of the little lake. They were old but not retired from enjoying life as they watched the ducks and geese and children around them.

Here is another quote from Sark that defines old in a "new"way...

The opposite of old is not young. The opposite of old is new.

So as we do and feel new things, we can never be “old.”

(Unless we wish to be.)


  1. Nice post, Ruth, a good reminder to be kind.

  2. Anonymous9:50 pm GMT-4

    Last week we enjoyed lunch out with a young 87 year old friend. The day before she had driven her 92 year old neighbor to a mall and lunch.
    We came away from our visit refreshed. She was up to date and then some on all world events and we came away younger and challenged for the years ahead.

  3. It's true. I see some 60 year olds that are "old" in every sense of the word and some 86 year olds that are young in mind, body, and spirit. :c)

  4. What a good attitude to have. I'm going to continue to do and feel new things.

    Interesting that as I reach certain ages, I remember my parents when they were at the same ages. They seemed so much older, and perhaps they were.

  5. Ruth,

    I love old people and used to work in a nursing home. Mom is going to be 81 tomorrow and her and I do have a lot of fun together. I talk to her everyday at least once, sometimes more. I know I'm blessed to have her at this age and do not take that fact for granted.

    Thanks for your comments on Princess Point. I have sent you an email.


  6. I do love your musings Ruth...
    This one in particular...

  7. Anonymous1:05 pm GMT-4

    What struck me most about your pictures today, Ruth, is that Nature appeals to all ages. Beautiful quote - I like the line, "Cradle your own future old person." Our inner child, too - who we are inside remains ageless.

  8. I love old people, they have so much to tell, if only we would give them the time.
    I look after my elderly parents and Ma in law......they live in their own homes, not far from me....I take them out and about....I learn so much from them......
    A lovely post......we will all be old someday.....

  9. Good post as we're all becoming less young, even the younger amongst us.

  10. This is lovely Ruth. I wish we revered our older citizens as they are in some other cultures...

  11. This is a very compassionate and understanding message. I hope when the time comes, that I get new someday rather than old and I am working on it. I just love people who still get excited over learning and trying out new things.

    Thank you for your comments on my Mergansers and red reflections.

  12. Lovely post!
    Elderly people should be cherished and respected. I can sit and listen to stories about years ago and appreciate every aspect of their lives. My Dad tells wonderful stories of his childhood growing up in Holland. I know I've heard each one at least 10 times and I never get tired of it. I hope I have many good stories to tell my grandchildren when I get "new".

  13. Vary thoughtful.
    I imagine the "old" in appearance still feel inside as they have all their lives. As I still feel like the 20-something from long ago!

    If we could just remember that that hasn't changed, maybe aging would not seem so foreign.

  14. I love this post and the thoughts and wisdom contained therein. I grew up around "old" people and flourished in their love. I used to work as a Nurses Aide and got more appreciation from them than I did from my family at home who took all I did for granted. My family is older and wiser now, but having friends older than I am so enriches my life. I miss those who have passed on and hope to meet them again someday.

  15. Such a beautiful tribute to the "senior" citizens around us. How true that some of them seem to act old and others -- many of them I see volunteering here in the hospital. I so enjoy listening to their many stories. It's fun to hear them share their life's history with those who are willing to listen and appreciate and savor their experiences of times past.

  16. Thank you to all who commented and added their insights and anectodes to the theme. I think all of you are newer, not older!

  17. I admire your respect for seniors, Ruth. Some of them have tough times and we need to remember they're aging and not being difficult. Hard to do, sometimes.

    When I walk through my Dad's nursing home, I always try to make eye contact with the patients in their wheelchairs. If I do, I smile and say, "Hello". Some of them are shocked. That's very sad.

    I enjoyed this. Thanks.

  18. I've tried to pay more attention with the elderly over the past few years.-Now when I see an older person-I see myself and think about what it will be like if I make it to that age.-Nice post!


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.