Friday, December 30, 2011

Being Old is Good

A couple years ago, when this whole project was still new, I was cleaning my apartment and found a story. The first sentence: “Being old is good.”

I was shocked because the story points out with four simple words the core belief of our Best Day project (being old IS good!!) then cuts to the chase and confronts the core issues that our project tries to solve, such as isolation and loneliness – but the person writing it had no idea she was doing that. The person was just saying what she felt at the time. Oh, and did I tell you the person happened to be eleven years old? Yeah, it was me.

Crazy, right? It’s like, my heart was always built with a spot for my senior buds – it just took me a couple of decades to figure out how to invite them in.

Technically this project started in late 2009 with our first storytelling class and blog post, personally it started in 2006 with my first call with my grandma, but the first seed of the project might have been planted in 1991, with this story.

Yesterday, when I was cleaning again (to start fresh for the New Year!), I came across the actual physical pages of this story again. And so, I just want to repost it (click Here for a scan of the pages, along with the story's original appearance here on the blog) to say once more what I said at age eleven, as a sixth-grader in Hong Kong. Being old is good.

11-year-old Benita
Helping the Elderly

Being old is good. You are experienced. You know what is right and what is wrong.

But being old is bad in many ways too. Every morning, your family will go out, either for work or for play, leaving you alone. All you can do is knit or play mahjong with your neighbors. You cannot have a lot of fun, for even a little running will tire you out. Besides, you have to do everything slowly, making yourself impatient.

That is why we should help the elderly. We should visit our grandparents frequently to chat with them and help them with housework. We can also have breakfast with them at Chinese restaurants.

If I were a grandparent and if my grandchildren always stayed with me, I would be really, very happy.