Hearing aids, bifocals but there’s more to aging than thatIf a four-score-and-seven-year memory serves me correctly, I’ve commented about reader contacts in this column before. For the most part, they offer compliments, and as I’ve discovered in world travel; most all people like to befriend you.
By: Bernie Hughes, Superior Telegram
If a four-score-and-seven-year memory serves me correctly, I’ve commented about reader contacts in this column before. For the most part, they offer compliments, and as I’ve discovered in world travel; most all people like to befriend you. The title, More Than That, which I’m also going to follow with, is a poem written by one of those good Superior people, Bud Brand. (His poem has been printed by Congregate Housing: The Duluth Solution and in Migrations)
In the last few years, I’ve kept a file of materials received from such good people. I wish I had started earlier because now I have lost the ability to remember names.
Sure, I’ve received a very few that were not complimentary but many letters, phone calls, gifts and face-to-face comments. It is so heartening, it is even more than that as Bud says in the final 12 lines of his poem.
More than just bifocal glasses
on a pair of fading eyes,
More than just a hearing aid
that’s impossible to disguise,
More than just a walking stick
that provides another leg,
More than Social Security checks
that forbid the need to beg,
More than just a rocking chair
that’s used to waste the days,
More than just a sullen face
with a stone-like, silent gaze,
Yes, more than that are twinkling eyes
as bright as any star,
Yes, more than that is a sparkling smile
the best around by far,
Yes, more than that is the voice of wisdom
from the lips of a knowing sage,
Yes, more than that is a wealth of experience
that only comes with age,
Yes, more than that is a helping hand
and a shoulder on which to lean,
Yes, more than that is a work of art
for that is a fellow human being.
Isn’t it unfortunate that we can’t have more and more personal, face-to-face, contacts with people all over the world and learn, as we would, that they have the same wishes, hopes and fears? They may believe in different Gods or none. They may not speak the English language and you, like me, may only speak English, but once you get to know them, you discover they are so very, very much just like you.
Corporations seeking valuable resources, all over the world, sometimes resemble dogs marking territory and ultimately fights start; governments are drawn in to the division of loot contest. Too much greed and the final straw, war.
War, too often, is the ultimate result and human beings, forced into the senseless action, can lose all sense of fair play. Once in a while, a window of war is accidentally drawn open, such as the recent pictures of American soldiers urinating on Muslim corpses. Yes, of course, the other side in these unbelievable affairs, have done despicable things too. Bud Brand brought out such human insensibility in a short poem he entitled, A Field Condition.
“How many did you kill today?”
the master sergeant said;
“Remember, you don’t get your pay
until we count the dead.”
Maybe Bud had just read that once again, more U.S. soldiers killed themselves the last two years than were killed by enemy action.
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at email@example.com.