Did you ever notice how things that are old are often forgotten?
Did you ever pass by an old, abandoned building and wonder to yourself, how did it start out life? At the time of completion the building may have been considered state of the art – on the cutting edge of technology. Only now it’s nothing more than a piece of history that’s been plagued by vandalism and reduced to rubble.
The same could be said for that 57 Chevy rusting and rotting away in an overcrowded junkyard. Certainly a pale comparison to the years when muscle cars were all the rage and drive-in movies were a common form of entertainment on Friday nights.
But there must have been a time when these relics once possessed beauty and commanded respect from those that found purpose in their creation. But as each of them reached the end of their usable life cycle, it’s sometimes forgotten just how valuable they once were.
That building may have been home for immigrants coming to America for the first time and some might just remember experiencing their first kiss with their now-mate of 40+ years in the back seat of that 57 Chevy. When you think about it, human beings aren’t all that much different than buildings and cars – and things that are old are often forgotten.
When you take a look at those that have managed to live well into their 80’s and 90’s, we automatically judge them based upon preconceived stereotypes that society has created for each and every generation. We don’t look at them as people, but instead as roadblocks in the Shop-Rite or the cause of traffic jams on our local streets.
But the reality is, these people once possessed beauty and commanded respect from those that found purpose in their creation. Simply put, their lives were not always like the abandoned buildings on our roadsides or the rotting cars in our junkyards – their lives were once filled with greatness.
As the old adage goes, there are two things in life you can’t escape – paying taxes and dying. But I tend to think there’s really one more – growing old. While it may be hard for some people to contemplate, we all will succumb to the aging process at one point or another. And ya know, the more I think about it the more I truly hope that we all do – for so many will never have the opportunity to retire, to see their grandchildren grow or even the simple act of going to an AARP club meeting. The elders of the world are a glimpse into our future.
One day we’ll all find ourselves ceasing to be useful, meaningful – even to ourselves as things that are old are often forgotten. Let’s hope we all have the good fortune to be surrounded by those that see beyond the broken down building and the rusted old car because not too long ago our lives were once filled with greatness.