If someone has shown us what work dignity is, they are the elderly
“Ash, What a stress with these fourth class citizens, decrepit and slow as turtles. People like them should not be here anymore. They just steal oxygen from the world, and my time. How slow! He should just do his job and stop talking. How annoying! “
This was what I heard from a young man in front of me while we both lined up at the supermarket to pay for our groceries. The young man was truly upset. I could not understand why he was upset until the line advanced.
The arrogant and overbearing young man was annoyed by the slowness and affability of old Roy, a man of more than 70 years who was taking care of cashier number 4.
I must confess that the elders are my weak spot and this particular situation made me turn around to the young man, stare at him and with a firm tone of voice, strong but polite I said: “How sad and shameful is your attitude! As you see yourself, he saw once himself. As you see him, so you will see yourself”
Surely you think like me, that seeing people like Roy, working for or without a financial need are an inspiration. Seeing how do they give themselves is a reason for you and me to grow in patience, perhaps because their movements are slower than ours; to grow tolerance because we understand that they cannot have the same rhythm as a young man, and of compassion because they tenderly inspired us by their humanity that, despite of being tired, they don’t give up. They are a school of joy, tenacity, strength, perseverance, and love for life…
They also teach us how to value and appreciate what it is to have a job.
The next time you run into a Roy, just watch him and imagine what is behind that tired body that still wants to serve the world through his work. Be amazed by the life full of history, full of sadness, memories, nostalgic, laughter … of knowledge.
How many times they would have wanted to give up, however, they are still here, working to become useful, to feel that they still serve, alive!
At an age when they should be fully enjoying life without fatigue, they choose to continue serving. You and I can learn from them how to embrace their history, smile at them and look at their hearts to say, thanks for been here!
Yes, thanks for giving us an example of vigor that life is worth living no matter how old we are.