“Age is an issue of mind over matter.
If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
– Mark Twain
I am thinking on the above lines. Mark Twain touched my heart.
Is really age is an issue over mind? I think that it is right in most of the people. Most of the people who think that I am old and I have to take rest as my children advise me.
“Papa, don’t go out for walk without anybody’s help. If you cannot walk properly, some accident may occur. When you fell in bath room last month, we are all unhappy that you broke a bone.. Thank god, we are lucky” Says a daughter who loves her father very much.
Our society is rich with morals and young people love old and disabled as the people to be taken with great care. These care taking families are model families and old people living in these families are very lucky. For these people, age is not an issue of mind over matter.
“I am happy. My son William takes care of me. He is always alert about my small ill health. I say it is not a problem, but he calls the doctor and asks him to take every care about my health” David said.
He met his close friend George in the park in the evening hours. George is also as old as he is.
“David, I am happy that your son is kind to you and you are well taken care of.” George said.
David was a business man and he earned a lot. His children are well educated and doing good jobs. They are happy for he gave them plenty of money for their needs. He has good property and good bank balance in his name. So there is no economical problem for him or his family.
George is quite opposite in this respect. He worked as daily wage worker in a factory and in those days, what he earned was hardly sufficient to meet the needs of the family. He has five children, two boys and three girls. He got his girls married to respectable boys and they live with bare minimum income. His two sons are also working as the daily wage workers as he was unable to make them well educated.
In those days he lived in a remote village and his needs are minimal or very little. He never felt that his income is less in those days. He could not send his boys to big schools in the nearby city. So their education is just like a common man’s children in a small village.
“George, do you have any problem?”
“No David, I am just thinking that people are unhappy for they are old and unable to earn.”
“George, being old is a part of life. People have to take care of this part and they should be economically secured so that they need not depend on others.”
“I know, but is it possible for every man who is poor and who earns very little to meet his bare expenses? I know many people who could not even eat two times a day. Poverty is the curse for those people.”
When George said this, David was silent.
“David, There are plenty of widows, unmarried and divorced women in our society. They do not have any support from anywhere and our governments in the world are not much worried about these people. We know how to earn more and so we earn and make properties. We are happy throughout life as we have every comfort with our money.”
George stopped and David was looking in to the eyes of George. After a while George again started telling about the people he knew:
“David, there are families around us where there is not enough food. The old people are on beds without proper medication. Poverty is a curse for those families. Financial insecurity, lack of food and medicines, dependency, no benefits after the retirement for some people who worked as daily wage works like me, inadequate health care facilities by the government, loss of assured regular income in old age are very common issues there.”
“I know, you are thinking deep about those people. George, am I right?”
“No. I am not thinking about those people, I am thinking about me as one among them. We live in a society where we see our neighbors as our family members. When the people next door to ours are suffering we always feel as someone is on bed in our family.”
“Don’t you know about emotional insecurity?” George asked David who is looking him blankly.
David is seeing a different George today. George is like a man buried in sorrows in society.
“People are patients of emotional insecurity. Void in life, loss of spouse, friends and relatives. Nobody is there to take care of them. Declining Health, frailty accompanied with advancing age and consequent dependence on others. These are the wows of people in poverty.”
“George. Stop telling about the depressed or uncared people. I am very unhappy about these people when I am first time hearing from your mouth. You are my best friend from the time when we first met here as old men in park”
George smiled for a while. David is a smooth and kind man and unlike George, he cannot withstand hearing the pains of others.
Just then another old man came running in to the park. He is above sixty five or seventy and he looks like a young man. David and George are wondered about his well built body and the happy expressions in his face. This old man had become the center of attraction for both David and George.
He came and sat on the same bench where David and George are sitting.
“Hi, I am Wilson.” He said
“Hi, you are welcome.” David said.
“May we know about you Ms Wilson?” George asked him.
“Sure, I worked here as the daily wage worker in city market.” Wilson said.
George and David are wondered at the well built body of William.
“You look very healthy William, may be you have no problems.” George said.
William looked at the two with keen interest. They both looked younger than him.
“First of all, let me call you as friends.” William said.
“No problem, we are friends when you came here and sat with us.” David said.
“Thank you friends. I told you I worked as a daily wage worker in city market. I am not getting any pension or something like any government aid. I don’t like to get outside help as the help to old people by any social organization. I am a healthy man by God’s grace. I am a member of the ‘old people” club. This club has many income generation opportunities for able and willing older persons. I am working till afternoon and living happily. I lost my spouse two years back. I have no children. What I have is my rich health and my health is my real fortune.”
David and George are looking at him unbelievably. Then Williams said with a sweet smile.
“Friends, age is an issue of mind and I believe that if you don’t think that you are not unable, you are always able young men. Our doubts and our weaker thoughts make us unable, otherwise every man is able and the world is so vast before every one that it can give them plenty of opportunities to live happily. Now my family is very big and I have added two of you in to my family. I feel I am rich with all the members of my family like you.” William said with a very bright smile.
David and George thought that they got a very nice, optimistic, and cheerful friend.