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We Need You

Updated: Mar 29

                I am not young, but by most measures I am not yet old. I am in that sweet spot of middle age. I am wiser than those who look up to me, and still more physically able than my elders, but this won’t be the scenario forever.

 The elderly need the young

               Someday I am going to become weaker, forgetful, and slower. My body will begin to fail me as will my mind. I will need a cane someday or a walker. When that day comes, like the countless generations before me, I will be afraid to fall down. I will walk carefully, pick my path and look for handrails. I will store away names and events in safe deposit boxes of my mind scared to lose them, and when things happened will become more and more important as I realize there is so much less ahead than behind.

                On that day I want to look around and see the next generation doing well. So, for a brief moment I am speaking to everyone younger than me today, and every parent, brother, sister and friend of someone who is younger.

                We need you. We need you to be good at things. No. We need you to be great. We need you to be strong, and to be willing to work for the world. Not just working for you, but working for all of us. I have tried to, my father tried to, my mother tried to. But it isn’t our time anymore. It’s becoming your time.

                Work will be hard, that’s why it is work, but happiness isn’t found in shying away. Happiness and satisfaction are found in the push. The world is going to feel unfair but that’s because it is unfair no matter who you are. It has always been unfair and it always will be unfair. This is not a besmirchment of the way the world works; this is the nature of biology. Some people are born smarter, faster, stronger, prettier, more logical or more artistic. How terrible would it be if we were all the same? Just average. Far better for there to be pillars in our society at their tasks, because you can be a pillar too. If you try. The world rewards excellence, not average.

                This trying isn’t going to be quick. Trying will not be that you worked hard for a few weeks or even months. Trying is going to be years. Trying is going to be a kind of effort you may not have ever experienced before, but I am begging you to push through the difficulties because we need you.

                Your parents, your friends, your siblings, and strangers like me are going to get old, and we will need help. We need you to run the world when we are gone. We need you to help us gracefully to our curtain call. We need you to create the art. We need you to do the science. We need you to be kind when we have forgotten how, and dementia steals our faculties.

                We need you…

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