Old Lives

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Old Lives Matter – Old lives/ old people are of great importance for a society.

Countless things and amenities that we enjoy every day are the result of the ideas and achievements of people who are old and very old today. People whose former energy and creative power we can often only guess at. People who can no longer make active contributions to the lives of others and yet still give us gifts every day: with the courage to face life, with an undaunted good mood, with a grateful smile, with a hug, with life wisdom, with their serenity and contentment.

Old Lives Matter – really?

How a society looks at and treats its old people certainly says more about this society than the number of cars, economic performance or fast trains and similar signs of a modern industrial society.

The taxi driver from Pakistan…

Are we doing enough for our old people? I asked myself this question when I recently spoke to a taxi driver who came to Germany from Pakistan twenty years ago. He told me that he drives a lot of old people in the mornings: to the doctor, to shopping, to the bank. And many of these old people are sad because they are lonely although they have children.

“And what about your parents since they went to Germany?” – “They are well looked after in Pakistan by two sisters and a brother’s family. – And I send every month from the money I earn driving a taxi.”

I was impressed, but then he added: “And I myself call mum every day. Three or four times. She always has lots to tell.”

… and me?

I have also called my mother regularly in the last 20 years of her life: but only once a week, on Sunday. And now I’ve found out from a Pakistani taxi driver how pathetic that actually was…

My helpless spontaneous reaction was a pointlessly large tip. But my mother didn’t get any more of that…

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Gundolf Meyer-Hentschel

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