While hitchhiking, I got picked up by this guy, he was 82 and told me the story of his life.
He had been working as a sailor and got to go to many countries in Asia and South America. He was thrilled to meet people from distant lands. Lived by himself in a very remote area of New Zealand. Only 20 people lived in his town, so he was feeling a bit lonely.
He invited me to stay at his place for a few days and offered me some cookies and coffee. Was so glad to have someone to talk to, someone to keep him company. After some time, thinking about that good experience, I remembered another experience I had with the elderly.
It was about 3 or 4 years ago when I was in Perth. I had just finished some meditation at the budhist temple and on the way back, accidentally stepped in someone’s front garden.
A very old guy came out and started shouting “GET OUT OF MY PROPERTY!!” in a hostile tone. This leaves me to wonder how will I be when I’m 82.
Will I be a greedy person who is afraid of strangers or will I be a friendly guy who picks them up and invites them in to have some cookies?
If I’m the first one, I have to say sorry to you all.
You have to understand I’m this way because I’ve been hurt before and that made me afraid of people, especially people who have less than me, because I’m afraid they will take the things I worked so hard to achieve, ok maybe not so hard, but I worked for them.
I’m afraid they will take my precious.
And if I’m the second guy, I should say welcome to my house, this is my address: “—” and you’re all always welcome.
I’ve been helped by tons of people throughout my life, been given money, food, and shelter in countless countries. Been taken care of when I was sick, been kept company when I was lonely and given me a jacket when I was cold.
My experiences taught me I’m not alone. We have to be kind to each other and now it’s MY time to pay it back. Because it’s just the right thing to do.