My grandfather Jose with my uncle and some friends.

Every day, the signs of aging and social deterioration are more obvious. The discussions in a raised voice on a busy street, the shouts from balcony to balcony, the pushes on the city buses, and the fights in the lines mark our daily lives, being those of a more advanced age, the more vulnerable target of these actions.

It’s puzzling to see how on our television, daily, idyllic images are presented about the care of senior citizens.  Nevertheless, go out to the street and observe: you will surely see in some of the parks and vacant lots of the city at early hours of the morning, small groups of elderly and others not so old, doing exercises in the open air, guided by a teacher.  But it is no less certain, that you will also observe many elderly people (perhaps some of those mentioned before), seated on the benches on the sidewalk or at the exits of the stores and agricultural markets, offering, with a certain timidness and embarrassment, cigarette packets (of inferior quality), plastic bags (of short supply in the stores), handmade candy, and the well-known paper cones of peanuts.  They don’t have to shout loudly to announce what they are selling, everyone that passes at their side knows that they are selling things to survive.

The majority of these people have passed, exceedingly, the age of retirement, without being able to save some money for their retirement, during their long working life.  Others continue to carry out their hard work, because the pensions they receive hardly will suffice for one daily meal.

In the hospitals, shops, bus stops, and other places, they have to line up like any citizen.  They don’t enjoy any special discount in any of the public services nor any other social advantage.  Many live alone, because their children and grandchildren have emigrated.  Where is that well-publicized attention to the elderly?

Happy Father’s Day to everyone!

Translated by: BW

Spanish post
June 18 2011

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