Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Point of View
My husband, first son and I were to dine in a pricey place, courtesy of second son and daughter-in-law who reside abroad. It was a Father's Day gift, which dad graciously extended to JC and me.
The restaurant was empty (sign of the economic downtrend?), except for a white-haired, bent old lady in a wheel chair and a young man. They were midway through their meal. Grandma and grandson, I thought.
While surveying the array of food, I overheard the conversation between lola and apo. It wasn't much of a dialogue; it was more of a monologue.
The young man was very solicitous, “This is really good, try it.” “I am sure you'll enjoy this other dish, it's the restaurant's specialty.” “Taste it, they're, delicious, right?” “Have some more.” “Let me scoop some for you.”
What a fine, young man! I gushed silently, a hint of tears fogging my eyeglasses. To husband and first son I verbalized my thoughts, “I wish my own sons and grandson would be half as good to me when I am that old.”
Reply of husband: “He just wants to extract some money from the old woman.”
Reply of first son: “The old lady forced him to escort her here.”
Two pails of cold water doused my spirit.
I am sure that if there were one other person with us, he would present a different perspective, too.
Points of view are like that; they are as varied as people, with individual hypothesis and conclusion.
My boss in the workplace used to say, “Try to reduce your meetings to just one client. If there were 12 clients in a room, you'd get 12 different points of view. And then you'd have an ad going in 12 different directions.”
Now, as for the grandmother and grandson, one of us might have been correct—or maybe not. But in this instance, I wish husband and first son were wrong.
As my contemporaries and I continue to advance in years (this is discussed at length in my new book, What, Me Retire? to be launched in September), I wish young people were as kind as the young man in the restaurant to their elders.
I wish they'd heed the words of the good Book, found in 1 Peter 5:5: “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'”
When we left the place, the young man was wheeling the old lady toward a shiny limo where a uniformed driver was opening the passenger door.