Talking to elderly people actually changes your perspectives.
Eid is the best time for visiting family members. I’ve always loved following my parents to my granduncle/aunties houses – they are always the source of my inspiration, I could always trace back why I behave this way and that, and where I came from.
The most pronounced revelation that I get everytime is about being humble and going on a simple life.
Many of us are concerned about what we wear, how we look, what car we drive, what kind of phone we have. Sometimes they’re of practical issues, but many a time they’re part of vanity. I’m not trying to be preachy, I do this all the time too. But this serves as a reminder for myself.
Our grandparents have lived long enough to experience so much in their lives. There were so much hardship in the past, they have gone through much more that we may ever dream of today. They have led a humble life, and here they are now, sitting in a comfortable house big enough to contain all ten children (and their families) without much qualms. Large TVs, air-conditioned rooms – bought and used by the children and the grandchildren.
I saw my grandaunt peek at the TV. She didn’t watch it. She just looked at it for a few seconds. It doesn’t seem like she even saw what’s on it. The TV doesn’t matter. It never does.
Makes you wonder, what actually does matter. What counts.
Health is, and always will be, number one. With hypertension, diabetes, gout, stroke, alzheimer’s, heart disease, arthritis – all these will hamper the life of an elderly person and take away their lives a little bit every day. Health is one of the first topics that would come out of their mouths (and it’s not because you’re a doctor, not at all). How they can’t sleep at night because they feel that it’s too hot. How they can’t climb the stairs. How the neighbour coughed throughout the night and she could hear it too. How he couldn’t get to the bathroom fast enough. How breathless they would feel, at times.
Then children. This son is now working here and this daughter is married to that man and this grandson has just got into medical school and this son is now a lawyer. More importantly, this daughter paid for the nice maid who’s been taking care of her well. Or this son would visit him every two days and bring him wherever he needs to go. Or this daughter who’d cook for her when she can’t. Or this grandson who’d make sure he takes his medications everyday. Or the children who’d paint their houses before Eid and prepared all the meals and cakes and biscuits too.
And nothing else matters.
Makes us wonder, isn’t it? When we were kids we used to fight with our siblings. When we look back we’d think, “Hey, it was such a small matter, why did we even fight about that!” And now there are so many other things that we’d fight over, we fuss over. Maybe it would be useful to think how are we going to see this later on in our lives.
Is it really significant?
Is it that important?
Does it matter?