The wisdom of age

Today evening, I was riding the bus 61 home when an elderly man boarded the bus. Being the concerned and caring citizen that I am, I gave up my seat. You must be thinking: how hypocritical, you must be posting this just to brag about this!

No dear reader. I have much more important things to share. The man and I had a nice little conversation before I inevitably alighted. He told me that he is 80 years old, and that he is still working part-time as a building inspector or something. My memory fails me, he might have said that he currently attends church at one of the churches near the bus route 61. I remember that he has white short hair which is neatly combed, and golden rimmed glasses perch on his nose. A fair amount of white stubble spot his weather-beaten face. As each second passes by, I fail even more at remembering him. However, his words will always stay with me.

Here is a list of what he said:

1. In life, there are no second chances. Live this one to the fullest. Don’t waste it.
2. Self discipline is important
3. Don’t do drugs, tobacco and alcohol
4. Think wisely. Study hard.
5. Do not be susceptible to influence
6. When you make a decision, choose the one that is best suited for you. If you are capable, ready and passionate, go for it.

This may come off as insignificant, but I believe that this is just a mere iota of the man’s knowledge. And as little as he could share in the short 3.5 minutes that he had, he shared. Society’s elderly has taken a more backward impression as ‘old dogs can’t learn new tricks’ and ‘keep up with the times’ in the past few decades. We still must bear in mind that in the past, our elderly was revered as people of wisdom. As elders. As figures of authority. They still are, and we must bear in mind that our elders have a reservoir of experience and wisdom to tap on. They deserve our respect, care and concern. So go hug a grandparent (or for more mature readers, your parents) today!

One thing I will remember about that awesome man is that he said if we met again, he’ll buy me a drink. I was not concerned with the drink. I was struck by his sincerity. He meant it. And wherever you are, whatever you are doing now, may God bless you.

Knowledge comes, but wisdom stays.


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