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dither

Where is the care?

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Just another Sunday lunchtime, my " gentle stroll to the outskirts of town and cheapo shopping day" and, bearing in mind the time of the year, the weather as agreeable as might reasonably be expected. Dull, grey, and the air felt damp, EVERYTHING feels damp that probably explains why, having had all the rain that we've had recently, a dry stone wall some two metres high has collapsed causing a few feet of some poor devil's front garden to spill out into the road. Thankfully it's not on a main road but this is an old part of town, there are other old cottages with high stone walls, just like this one and I would think that a few bums are going to be twitching now. I can see the attraction of these cutesie picturesque cottages with those dry stone walls, don't know if home insurance would cover something like that but... oh dear. Rather them than me. I wish them luck. Anyway, Sunday cheapo day. My good spirits were soon to be dashed.

As I walked along the High Street, heading towards the town center I could see.... oh dear, how can I put this? There's this guy, must be in his sixties, some days I've got off the bus at around seven in the morning and I'd see him waiting for the Co-op to open and if I went in for whatever, he'd be by the checkout talking nonstop nonsense at the poor checkout woman, it's so embarrassing, and my the time I got served and away I'd be seething. Where's the care for these people? It seems as though his wife lets him out with the cat in the morning and he returns back home when he's tired, or hungry, or both.

Well, as I walked along the High Street, there he was, plastic carrier bag in hand, he'd just exited the Tesco Express, was ambling into Costcutters and by the time I'd got to the Town Center he was heading for the Co-op. Maybe he's given a shopping-list and knows just what he can get from each store so as to maximise the amount of shops he goes into. What a life. Whatever, on-wards and downwards. The walk out of town is slightly downhill. I've going downhill for years but that's another story.

Walking on, I could see a young man ahead of me pushing a buggy but he was walking so slowly and as I approached him he'd drew level with a lamp-post, I would hold back for a moment to let him pass through the narrow space and then nip by I thought, and then suddenly , he did a U-turn and I came to a halt, He looked up at me with an almost trance-like expression on his face. Was he waiting for someone? A wife? Girlfriend? He certainly wasn't going anywhere in a hurry. He smiled and apologised, I just waved it away. "No worries mate" I told him, got my legs into gear and made hot-footed it to my destination. I didn't want much, truth be told, I'm probably only doing for something to do, it gets me out of the house for a few minutes, can't say that I NEED to do this and then, maybe at my age, the exercise is doing me good, it's a fair old trot there and back, no matter, soon I was walking back the way I came and was heading home.

Have you ever seen people, riding a bicycle with a dog on a lead? Well, there was one coming toward me, on the path, as I made my way back. The dog was a young cream Labrador, he was pulling this guy all over the place, I had visions of him, his dog, and that bike ending up in one tangled heap in the road, couldn't feel sorry for him but what about the dog? And then it came to me....

Why not attach the lead to the front of the bike? If the dog wants to pull, and the owner is just too lazy, ignorant stupid whatever to train the dog, then let him pull, what harm could THAT do? Then, when the dog is done with pulling, let him trot, or walk even, along side, safely. People!

I try to remember to pay the public toilet a visit as I pass by on my way out of town, me and my bladder , this I'd done and was toying with the idea of going in on my way back but as I walked into town I could see that old man, standing in the entrance, With his hood pulled over his face and his head down like he had no place to go. How desperate is that? It was such a sad site and it makes me so angry, and guilty, and I resent that. In how many towns and villages, CITIES even, is that scene being played out? I wonder. Where is the care? I know, my attitude regarding that old man might make me seem a bit of a hypocrite. I just walked on by and headed homewards. It won't be too long, I think, before I tell him " please! Just go... away. " I try to be patient tolerant etc. But it shouldn't be that way. I'm sorry, really, I am.

Life eh,

dithering.

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  1. -xXx-'s Avatar
    *narrative natural*
  2. Winston's Avatar
    It's always interesting and enlightening seeing the world through your eyes.
    You paint a very vivid picture of where you live. Thanks again for sharing.
  3. Plasticweld's Avatar
    You asked in your title, "Where is the care?" it is obviously not with you. If you could make any small effort to befriend the old guy, hear is story, maybe even offer to help. Somehow you think "others" should be doing this. If your a good man or woman you take up the needed task and make a difference. Think how little you would have to do to make a difference in this old guys day, think how much that might lift up his spirits and truly make a difference in your little town.and in his life. He is neglected because it is not easy, nor pretty. Not some cute puppy but a person with real feelings and you just walk by with your head held down. Winston said it was interesting to see the world in your eyes. I will only say it sad to see the world in your eyes. While you might not have much, I do believe it is not to much for you to show some compassion towards someone less fortunate; it costs nothing, and the act of doing someone else a kind deed may actually do more to change not just your out look on life but on someone else.

    Who cares, the guy will still be there tomorrow, it would be nice to read how you made an effort to be kind to him and share the story with the rest of us...that would be uplifting!
  4. Firemajic's Avatar
    I agree.... what is wrong with society.... most people now days seem to think it is someone else's responsibility... well guess what? It is EVERYONE'S responsibility....

    I was at a local diner and overheard people talking about "some old drunk" sleeping under a certain bridge, they were all saying how bad that looked for the town image...

    I left the diner, went to the bridge, and there he was... frail, old... alone... I introduced myself, and asked if he needed me to call his family... he said he did not want to worry his children... turns out, he had applied to a nursing home for assistance, and was told it would be a few days before his room would be available... he thanked me for my offer of assistance, said he was quite comfortable there for a few days while he was waiting for his room, the weather was nice, but he said "these damn mosquitos are driving me crazy"... I left and returned with bug spray, snacks and bottled water.... He was so grateful for these small items...

    I returned the next day and he was gone... I checked the nursing home, he was not there... I asked everyone I could about him, but no one knew where he went, and they did not even care... I wish I would have handled the situation better... I feel like I failed him...
  5. Plasticweld's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing such an uplifting story. You made a difference, let someone know that someone, anyone, actually just cared about him. It was simple, it was cheap and I bet it made a real difference to him.

    I bet it made you feel good to make a difference. While you said you felt as though you failed him, I am sure he didn't feel that way, nor do I.

    This is what I don't get. Depression is routed in feeling like you don't make a difference, and nothing you do matters, you are powerless to make changes not only for yourself but in society in general. Helping someone less fortunate has always been the cure, caring about someone else is always the path to you personally being healthy.

    I help people all the time, I don't say that to brag but share only to say that it is one of the things that always makes me feel good, always lets me know I matter and there is a reason for me being around. People are quick to say. This weed is great it will make you feel good, this is great tequila it will make you feel like you are on top of the world. These shoes, this car, this house will all make you feel better. I can promise you nothing will make you feel better than, helping someone out, sending them a note just to say you are thinking of them, doing anything to just make their life easier. Even a smile from you can change the way a person views the rest of the day...There the secret to being happy is out.

    Thanks for taking the time share you story...Bob
  6. dither's Avatar
    Yeah, I know, you ARE right of course but I just can't do that stuff. The man I mentioned in the OP... his mind is some place else... that makes him unpredictable... and that scares me. PEOPLE scare me, INTERACTION scares me. I'm sorry but that's me.
  7. Ma'am's Avatar
    After a volunteer stint at a large urban homeless shelter, my feelings are mixed. A lot of the homeless who came by there were addicts. I felt like I was just helping enable them to continue a lifestyle that was incredibly destructive, to them and whoever they may prey on to maintain their habit.

    We provided food, showers, free laundry service, clothes, medical care and more. We knew not to go to the area outside where they were allowed to get high on the property. Nothing was required of them but to not act too extremely disruptive inside the building. In other words, we did everything the families and friends of addicts are told NOT to do.

    However, the things mentioned here "on the other hand" are also true. From what I hear, most of the institutions in the US that would care for- and supervise- those who aren't mentally able to adequately care for themselves were shut down in the 1990's.
    Updated December 31st, 2019 at 05:11 PM by Ma'am
  8. Firemajic's Avatar
    Please understand, I am not suggesting that you ever place yourself in danger....
  9. dither's Avatar
    No, I know that Maj. I'm just not comfortable with strangers talking to me. I've even walked away from bus-stops because of people talking to me. There are/have been exceptions of course but they are few and far between. My problem huh!
  10. bdcharles's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasticweld

    This is what I don't get. Depression is routed in feeling like you don't make a difference, and nothing you do matters, you are powerless to make changes not only for yourself but in society in general. Helping someone less fortunate has always been the cure, caring about someone else is always the path to you personally being healthy.
    I agree: helping people is good for everyone, not least the person doing it. But a cure for depression? I'm not sure that's quite right - I need to counter that. Depression is a specific medical thing with specific neurological causes and specific treatment. You can help all the people you'd like, the depression will still be there. By the same token, going for a brisk walk is generally a good thing to do, but I wouldn't recommend it to sufferers of, say, gout. In the first instance, I'd recommend gout medication, followed by a change of diet.
  11. Firemajic's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles
    I agree: helping people is good for everyone, not least the person doing it. But a cure for depression? I'm not sure that's quite right - I need to counter that. Depression is a specific medical thing with specific neurological causes and specific treatment. You can help all the people you'd like, the depression will still be there. By the same token, going for a brisk walk is generally a good thing to do, but I wouldn't recommend it to sufferers of, say, gout. In the first instance, I'd recommend gout medication, followed by a change of diet.
    When my Mother was killed, I was devastated, and depressed, my Doctor suggested I volunteer somewhere and help someone, he said it would benefit me more than medication... so I did... I went to a local nursing home and asked if there was anyone who did not have family to visit them, and I was connected with an elderly woman who I started visiting on a regular basis... it did help a little....

    I know there are dangerous people walking the streets... I have worked in group homes for years... those were the lucky ones... they had a place to go and they had supervision... sadly, there are many who cannot find help and are without their medication, and that is a dangerous situation...
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