A lawyer and a senior citizen are sitting next to each other on a long flight. The lawyer is thinking that seniors are so dumb that he could get one over on them easy. So the lawyer asks if the senior would like to play a fun game.
The senior is tired and just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and tries to catch a few winks.
The lawyer persists, saying that the game is a lot of fun. I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me only $5. Then you ask me one, and if I don't know the answer, I will pay you $500, he says.
This catches the senior's attention and to keep the lawyer quiet, he agrees to play the game.
The lawyer asks the first question. 'What's the distance from the Earth to the Moon?'
The senior doesn't say a word, but reaches into his pocket, pulls out a five-dollar bill, and hands it to the lawyer.
Now it's the senior's turn. He asks the lawyer, 'What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down with four?'
The lawyer uses his laptop and searches all references he could find on the Net. He sends e-mails to all the smart friends he knows; all to no avail. After an hour of searching, he finally gives up.
He wakes the senior and hands him $500. The senior pockets the $500 and goes right back to sleep.
The lawyer is going nuts not knowing the answer. He wakes the senior up and asks, 'Well, so what goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four?'
The senior reaches into his pocket, hands the lawyer $5 and goes back to sleep.
This got me to thinking about how are perception of people change as we grow older and more importantly, our own perceptions about ourselves!
As children, we see the world and other people with an innocence and wonder we lose oh so quickly.
We see are family such grand-parents, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters as the basis of how we will judge our interactions with other people will we meet throughout life.
This exposure to an older age group, especially to senior citizens, lends the respect they are due as our elders.
I've seen first hand, a group of teenagers, hanging out around the food court in the mall, pointing, laughing and giggling as they make fun of people walking past. Most of us at one time or another in our lives, are all guilty of this.
It's part of growing up! As kids, we are too immature to realize that is rude and hurtful to make fun of those different from ourselves.
My father once pointed out to me a theory he had about the major difference between his generation and today's and even mine for that fact.
In his day growing up, (1930-40's) when grandma and grandpa were too old to work on the farm or retired, they would devote their time and experience to taking care of the kids while the parents went off to work.
The grandparents would instill into their grand-children, the values, morals and manners that was predominate in that era.
That social dynamic is missing in today's world, I believe it wholeheartedly applies to most of the population here in the US.
We are so eager or at the very least unwilling to take care and responsibility for our own family. To often we see a family's first option to care-giving of an elderly relative is to stick them with another family member or place them in a assitted living facility or God forbid, a nursing home.
These people have value and they have something to offer! Yes, there are exceptions such as health issues but all in all, we shun and hide away the the very people that in other cultures, both past and present, were held in high regard or revered with great honor!
The bottom line is....in many ways I really don't feel as old as I really am, I guess that's a good thing. I'm still a kid at heart, I enjoy playing video games, having fun with friends and totally acting like an idiot....to a point!
Sometimes I still miss the excitement of expanding my horizons, either through a new class or a new job and taking on the hard physical challenges that in your youth you never think twice about, you just do it.
But as we get a little older and a hopefully a little wiser, what matters most is right now, people who are close to us, places or endeavors that mean a lot to us!