It had just been a few months since Anand joined college and he was really enjoying it. One morning, he got a call from his friend, and one could hear him say, ‘I will be there in 10 minutes’. At the breakfast table, he saw his grandfather keenly reading a flyer announcing a play that was being performed in the city. Being a big fan of theatre, he was really hoping he could go. Anand, however, ate his breakfast in a hurry as he didn’t want to strike a conversation with him. Noticing the urgency, his grandfather quickly asked if he could accompany him to the play. But Anand tersely replied “I have plans for today Dadaji. We are going to the Vridhashram (old-age home) for a social activity”, and he left.
He rushed off for a meeting with his friends to discuss what they need to do at the Vridhashram. While most of them began fiddling with their phones during the meeting, one girl stood up and exclaimed ‘Guys, Do you have time? They just need your time – just to sit with them, talk to them and listen to them!’ These words hit Anand like a bolt of lightning, and he realised what a hypocrite he was being. He refused to spend even a few moments or an evening with his grandfather a while ago, and here he was feeling like a social worker. He stood up and said, ‘Sorry guys, I can’t join you. I don’t have time!’ and he rushed home. His grandpa was leaning back in the easy-chair near the door, staring into the distance with the same flyer in his hand.
Anand walked up to him and didn’t speak a word, but his tearful eyes conveyed that he was sorry. He reached out his hand to his grandfather, and it went without saying that they were going to the play together. The smiles were back on both their faces now! They dressed up, took a selfie together and there began a joyful evening!
Elderly people are often left feeling very lonely and abandoned. Would you like to extend the warmth of companionship to them? You can begin doing this right within your own home!
Here’s a little suggestion list, to show our love and care towards the elderly in our family and society:
Those in our close circles,
Accompany them for medical checkups Teach them patiently how to use new-generation gadgets and the internet. Listen to their advice, experiences and life stories. Share with them daily interesting happenings in your life. Call them up once in a while and on important occasions.
And towards the elderly in our larger society,
Greet them with a smile when you pass them. A smile costs the giver nothing, yet can be of priceless worth to the receiver. Let them go ahead of you in a queue. Be patient with them while in a supermarket, ATM, parking lot as they take more time to deal with things. Slow down your vehicle when they are crossing the road. Offer your seat to them in a bus. Help with their bags in grocery shops. Help them to cross the road.
This is just a sample list. The list of things we can actually do can go on and on. Kindness, love and respect can be infectious. Let’s start spreading them in small ways that we can see right before our eyes.