Thought for the Week: Our relationships

Keith Wedmore looks at the importance of relationships

I am 83 and intend to start a debate about how we oldies ought to manage.  

We have been dealt a double whammy by fate. For some 800,000 years of man we had several advantages that the last one hundred years have swept away. 

We had a lot of experience of the world. Our juniors came into that world, and were happy to let us teach them. That gave us respect, use and purpose. In the unchanging world of then, we already knew what we had to. The terrors of a five-year-old at a new school were not for us. 

Letters – real letters – have pretty much gone, except for sympathy notes on death. Some of my peers still do not have email: ‘on principle’, they say.  So, in addition to the generalized loneliness of old age – one’s friends are mostly dead – some have cut themselves off. 

Online and email have quickened many an attachment. If you don’t have them, you can hardly even buy a book. Now, you are out of the circuit. Do you recall life before Google? 
Our relationships are our true assets. Close friends are people from whom one hides nothing. I have a half dozen such. I visit them once a year and am thankful.
My only tip for this debate is this: Why are you here? (In the literal sense: Why did you come downstairs? You have forgotten.) Before you move at all, say out loud: ‘I am going downstairs to get my other sock.’ Your voice still ringing in your ears as you descend, you will get your other sock. Your tips, please.

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