Author: Adisha
•Tuesday, October 07, 2008
The other day in the mall. we decided to have lunch. Picking up our trays we walked over the a table already occupied by an elderly gentlemen. He got to talking to us about our food habits as Hindu Indians and till the next hour regaled us with anecdotes from his past, sharing with us life's many lessons. He talked, we listened, our apprehension growing into amusement. Being a teacher and a Jew, he had a LOT to say about all cultures, education, politics, and just how people were. What surprised me was even though from a by gone era ( he was young when Gandhi was assassinated), he had such a humorous yet modern and open minded view about everything. He was sharp and intuitive, noticing the smallest detail and he was well aware that he was monopolizing our time :). As I listened to him, I wondered if most people saw the world through eyes like his, then the world would certainly be more comfortable to be in. Once more I realized that people who live through a variety of experiences and are well read are a real boon to society for their view point is from above and Not a corner of the world. Though we immensely enjoyed our long sit down with him. it brought me thinking about people his age...

Why was it that this colorful man was in a mall, looking out for people just to listen to him ?
Was his family just busy or indifferent? Or was it that being independent he loved to go out and roam around sharing his knowledge with who ever was willing to listen? For whoever We told of this man,said, " awww, he must just want to be heard. ". It's like people assume that his family is just too plain busy to give him time. But giving them the benefit of doubt, couldn't it be that they have already heard those stories a million over or maybe He's alienated them with his thinking. Sure I loved what he had to say, for I agreed with it all. But what about those who do not agree. Or who in turn want to be heard? For I couldn't help noticing, in the one hour He spoke he asked us very few questions whose answers he ignored or turned into another story. Stories about his time in the army, opportunists, the people from different cultures he'd come across, his loving partnership with his wife, their cooking skills, his daughter, the importance of education, and the need for more teachers in the jersey county. Through it all, there was a common thread of self assessment and laughter, yet there was very little leeway for us to get a word in .. LOL.

I'm well aware that over time that people get really set in their ways. Specially once they get past 40 or so. But is it so hard to try and Listen to what your young ones have to say ? I know elders prefer teaching whatever they've learned but if you really want to connect to someone shouldn't communication be two way? Also, with certain people, it's hard to want to be with someone whose got rules for Everything. From sitting to talking. They have their own schedules and crowd to adhere to and fitting that into another life style is hard,I'm sure. Young children are like sponges, they absorb everything, but they also need to be able to express themselves. Is it so hard then to understand why children Sometimes once grown up avoid being with elders. Then they have favorites. When you see difference in treatments, you tend to mimic that as well and that's when you start having favorites too.


I admit I don't have a solid hang on this, for I'm projecting my personal experiences and each one's observations are unique. I know in the end, all anyone wants is love and respect but I guess my own point is, children though younger on the age scale also deserve to be heard. I just wish once in a while, elders actually Listened and were genuinely Interested in what was being said understanding what we have to say, preferring discussion and fun to lectures or formality. Would certainly make actual connections easier to maintain ....

In any case, if we never meet again John Lewis - Thank you for a lovely afternoon !
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9 Spin Offs:

On October 7, 2008 at 2:58 PM , *~*{Sameera}*~* said...

That seems like a very interesting afternoon.Whatever the reason for him being there out alone,it's serendipity he met someone like you you who values his views and dedicated a whole post to it :)

 
On October 7, 2008 at 8:11 PM , Adisha said...

Would seem like it :)

 
On October 7, 2008 at 10:12 PM , Keshi said...

Thats a very interesting thing to happen to someone! He'd be stoked if he read this post? :)


**I know elders prefer teaching whatever they've learned but if you really want to connect to someone shouldn't communication be two way?

Totally agree!


Keshi.

 
On October 8, 2008 at 8:35 AM , Priya said...

Sometimes u comeup with strangers tlaking for hours or even few minutes and share the best dialogues to remember. Good for u.

 
On October 8, 2008 at 10:07 AM , Adisha said...

I would like to think so, for he has given me a few unforgettalbe anecdotes :)

Thanks Keshi. Take care

 
On October 8, 2008 at 4:54 PM , back to basics said...

U write a lot ... I was amazed to see how much n many articles written ... My first time to your blog ... I will he have to take lot of time to read them all...

 
On October 8, 2008 at 11:45 PM , Adisha said...

Welcome to my humble musings, back to basics. :) feel free to peruse ...

would like to see if you've written anything as well..

take care,
adisha

 
On October 17, 2008 at 2:39 PM , Nisha said...

isn't this the story of every generation ? Do you think our generation would do anything differently when we reach that age? I think its much easier said than done :)

 
On October 17, 2008 at 3:40 PM , Adisha said...

Nisha, welcome to my blog. Thanks for ur comment.

I agree with you, history does tend to repeat itself, but just Maybe We, one at a time, could at least Try to break out of these molds... at least if we give a thought to it, a later generation might be able to convert it into action. :)