These thoughts occurred while waiting for someone at a home for the aged a little before the lockdown:
‘As I look up from where I’m sitting, I see the most serious activity going on; a number of old ladies from the same home are involved in cutting vegetables. I think it is a voluntary job, but the commitment, the concentration I see is admirable. Each vegetable is meticulously cut. Not for them the pleasures of conversation, not for them chatting on a mobile, they are enjoying their work and more than ever I think, enjoying the fact they are still useful!
How important it is to feel useful.
How terrible to feel useless!
I wonder at what age we begin to feel we are not as useful as we were before?
I wonder how it would be to feel useless?
Again my eyes go back to the ladies around the table. It is such a trivial job they are doing, but doing with much zeal and fervor!
Zeal and fervor! Trivial job! End result, vegetables that are beautifully cut and which goes into a meal that will be enjoyed by all!
What an example to other vegetable cutters!
“Who cut these vegetables?”
“They are cut so well!”
“Thank you! But that’ s the way I do most things!” says the old lady modestly.
I know that conversation is my imagination working, but isn’t that what we can be as we grow old? An example in every little task we are involved in.
That, we are not just cutting vegetables!
Today we live in a world of shortcuts. We live in a time when we hardly involve ourselves in what we are doing, trying instead in getting away with earning quick bucks with small effort. That’s where we need to become examples of meticulousness, of diligence, of excellence in even small things. This generation needs to hear and see you and me being thorough, being perfect. It may be what you think are trivial tasks, this lockdown, like looking after your daughter or son’s kids, we’ll be the best granddad or grandmom, or cleaning or cooking since help can’t enter your flat; clean and cook better than what the others at home have ever seen!
That day, I looked up again at the ladies cutting their vegetables and I knew their job wasn’t trivial, they and you and me can be examples as we grow old, much needed examples in a world which needs such pictures to look up to!
And to those of you who are looking for opportunities to excel, well start with the small and when you realise that it is, ‘not just cutting vegetables,’ then bigger tasks will come your way..!
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