I got into a discussion with some people concerning their parents the other day and although, after going through much of the same with my mother I could feel their pain, I could also hear them crying for a quick fix. This was my reply:
Much of this thread I have played the devils advocate using myself as the goading force in a pretty deep subject: The elderly and their stubborn ways.
But really, how DO we deal with them?
They are too stubborn, they are selfish, they are causing us problems, we love them BUT they are driving us nuts!
We justify, we piss and moan, look for answers where there are none, and we tell our horror stories to the multi nods of a zillion kids with the same problem.
For the “me first” generation, it’s simple . . . there is no answer.
The closest thing to an answer is above when I talked about social structure. Bottom line, we have created a society based on gain rather than one based on people. That means that power, position, and possession are foremost in a capitalistic democracy . . . everything else (including people and social issues) is secondary. They are important, but not as important as the corporation and their profit margin.
We are a ‘throw away’ society that always goes for the quick fix. We do our best to heal the ‘symptom’ rather than the ‘cause’ in everything from medical practice to operating our government and our military. “Kick the can down the road” is the mantra as we battle one problem after another using PR and spin rather than taking the time to get to, and fixing, the cause of the problem.
We live separate lives, we do our own thing, we love our parents from a distance, or not at all. We are an intelligent people caught in the trap of our own cunning . . . but when we begin to feel jaws closing in on us, rather than trying to get to the root of the problem we piss and moan as to why we have one. That’s us in a nutshell . . . we are our greatest enemy. I see this separation as a huge problem for our society.
In a lot of countries the elderly are revered for their wisdom and they live in the same compound as the young . . . they are the storytellers and babysitters. They spend their old age in safety and in peace . . .
In America most live separate lives and sometimes only get together on holidays. No one listens to the old folks so they sit like shadows on the wall and watch the kids play around them until it’s time to leave and go back to their lonely existence.
The ways of the tribe have been completely forgotten, but the way of the tribe is the only way life works for humanity . . .
So, in essence, we need to change things. we must build a society where the people and their well being take center stage . . . it’s that simple.
What to do with mom and dad? It’s too late for the easy fix. You enter the killzone of an ambush and then wonder what to do? Suffer, that’s it. Do your best and take the pain.
Not only you guys, us old people are also to blame. We are ALL in the same fix, but nothing changes till we quit seeking the quick fix and begin to work on the foundational problems plaguing this country. Until then endure and take the pain . . . that’s just the way it is.
Too bad when we had the opportunity to assimilate and learn from the American Indian, we chose to kill him and take his land instead. . .
Karma IS a bitch.
(after you’re done rolling your eyes) Please, take a moment to actually think about what I just said and make the change in your family before momma goes crackers on you, or pop tells you to fuck off when you try to coax him down off the roof . . . after he falls it will be too late.