Time slowed down for a moment as I witnessed what I thought for sure was going to be a disastrous head-on collision between a man and a woman. The woman seemed hell bent to plow forward, in the direct path of an oncoming man who also seemed to have places to go and people to see, in the most urgent of fashion. At the last moment, he slipped into reverse, (Beep,Beep,Beep!) yielding to the woman and nearly upending his cane from his lap. I could hear him cussing at the woman, who hung a left – at the jewelry counter. I thought I saw a puff of smoke in her wake but that would be my imagination contributing to the spectacle I just witnessed in the aisle at Walmart.
These were two seniors navigating in their motorized carts. The nastiness on their faces was quite the contrast to all the cheery discount signs and piles of Black Friday items filling the aisle way.
When I was a kid I always held the aged in high regard – I expected more out of them. More patience, more kindness. More, well, niceness. I think I must have been fortunate enough to have known good role models during my youth.
Anymore, I see a lot of elderly and precious few elders. Someone once said that as we age, we become more like ourselves. UNLESS we have chosen to continue growing and allowing life to soften us and make us more aware of our connectedness with one another.
The elders are precious few, I fear. I am grateful for those in my life that model grace and kindness, especially when life didn’t turn out how they expected. And yes, it takes on-going inner work for this to happen.
The alternative is to continue living with the same grasping and ego pull typical of the first half of life. I see people become elderly – inflexible, demanding and entitled. And yes, willing to go kamikaze in a motorized shopping cart.