An old man sat quietly each day upon his chair, watching the world go by. He had been one of those very busy people when he was younger, always rushing from one thing to another, but now he could not rush. Now he sat quietly and watched the people rushing past. As he sat there he reflected on the things that had changed and those that had stayed the same.
He remembered a time when he felt so important. He worked for a big corporation and he felt valued and critical to the success of the organisation. Every day he would hurry to work and then spend his days rushing from meeting to meeting. His days all past quickly as he was engrossed in his work. Before he realised it, his working days were coming to an end. As he contemplated retirement he thought of all those things he had wanted to do. In his retirement, he would tend to his garden, he would travel the world, he would get involved with charities to help share the wisdom he had learnt during his time of employment.
Retirement didn’t end up as expected. What he found when he paused and stopped working was that he didn’t know how to be still. No-one trusted him to do all those things he wanted to do anymore because he was an old retired man. That wisdom that he had built up over the years was locked inside him as no-one wanted to hear it. No-one wanted to listen to his tales of victory and loss. He had always been too busy to talk to those around him, and now they were too busy to listen. The world was so different to when he was young that most who stopped to listen to his tales thought that the world had changed so much that his experiences were not relevant any more.
But does the world really change that much? Are the experiences of one generation that different from the next? When did we stop looking at the elders of society as the keepers of wisdom and start seeing them as a burden to be placed on the sideline of life?