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Thinking Word — evanescent- \ev-uh-NES-unt\ Click for pronunciation -adjective: Liable to vanish or pass away like vapor; fleeting. --/the evanescent thought of a moment/ the evanescence of the morning mist/ It is asked how any wisdom can be so evanescent.
Dr. Wysong blog - BEING OLD
On a trip down south, I noted so many elderly folks. Cold is a stress that becomes harder to tolerate as we get older. So people like to go where they are more comfortable. The warmth, oxygen carried off the ocean, and increased vitamin D from the sun all make a person healthier and just plain feel better. I have about double the energy when I go down south.
But the benefits of heat and sun are not my point here. As I walked among so many in the twilight of their years, some scarred, most suffering some ailment, I thought about how common it is to ignore the elderly. We tend to forget that they are people too, people with the same feelings as those of us younger.
They deserve more. Inside those wrinkles, underneath their slow and unsteady gait is still the person they were when playing hop scotch on the playground.
Think about the you that is inside. Reflect on the fact that that you has not really changed from earliest memory. Yes, we gain some knowledge and experiences, but those are like wrappings. Our core selves remain the same and will remain such no matter how long we live. This is one of the strong arguments that we are (that is to say, the self-aware I is) something other than mortal and as such not subject to mortal death. (See my book, Solving The Big Questions As If Thinking Matters, to see such proofs developed much more completely.)
So don’t assume that the apparently stolid elderly person that you pass on the street is, inside, waning and infirm like their bodies may be. They deserve awe for hanging in there during a life, not disregard. Inside they carry the memories of youth and vitality that they cannot regain. They remember falling in love, having and raising children, school friends, a life of work, painful illnesses, wars, and losing those they love.
The elderly are all winners. They have run the course and, with somewhat exhausted capabilities and various inevitable infirmities, are trying to make the most of the remainder. Through their sweat and tribulations they have created the world we now all enjoy.
Pay attention to them and extend them respect, kindness, consideration for their limitations and contributions to the world, and for the real person they are inside.
Treating others as we would be treated is especially true with regard to the elderly. Every one of us will be in their shoes one day. Pay attention to them. Extend a helping hand. Visit them. Treat them with respect. Introduce yourself. Engage them. Look them in the eyes, smile like you mean it, and greet them like they are as valid as they are, real people who need love like we all do.