At dinner, a couple of nights ago, I had an experience I want to share. It has to do with how our elderly are treated, by family and the public. The information came to my two girlfriends and me by our young waiter (server, to be politically correct).
He told us that he had been frustrated and slowed down by an elderly man to whom he had to keep repeating his words. The man just didn’t get that when he said the chicken came with carrots and mashed potatoes that meant that it did not come with broccoli. And no, it didn’t come with spinach. No it didn’t come with corn either… and so on. Then the “server” said to the man, and I’m paraphrasing, “How many times are you going to ask me that question? I’ve already told you that it comes only with carrots and mashed potatoes.” And to top it off, the wife said to the server (he told us), “Thank you, he does that to me all the time.”
I looked at him with a blank face, and regretfully, made the decision not to comment. It would have been equally rude of me to humiliate that young man in front of my friends. But, I haven’t let go of the incident because I didn’t do what I should have. It was a lesson for me and I want to share it with my readers in case you’re ever in a similar position.
I should have excused myself from the table and taken that young man aside. I could have nicely told him that one day he too would most likely be in that old mans shoes or worse, if he lives long enough. That the brain just doesn’t function normally forever. And how would he like to be made fun of and reprimanded by some young person who didn’t have enough experience in life to be sensitive to other peoples feelings. That man may have been a most brilliant contributor to society at one time. Even if he was as dumb as a post, the ability to show kindness to another human being is the most admirable of human qualities. It can be learned, even by an old wife who has lost her graciousness.
I’m just as upset with myself for not doing what I should have, and will not let that happen again, I promise. I hope my lapse in judgement will serve to bring the idea to mind for others, that we need to graciously deal with the impairments of others, including the impairment of a young man with a lack of respect for the elderly. After all, unlike most other nations of the world, our country has not shown a good example when it comes to taking care of our older population. And that kind of mindset comes from the top down.
Until soon, I wish you love and kindness.
PS: My two friends that were with me are remarkable, kind women. One went out of her way to go to a store and buy flip-flops for a homeless lady with very swollen feet the other day. The other called to see if she could bring me chicken soup last night after I had some dental work done, she had been working all day. I have lovely friends. Thank you, to the several other special people that offered to bring me anything I needed. Life is good.
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