The decision has been made.
I will continue where I left off from the last post. Call this post more of a positive one than anything that I may have posted before. Always nervous about what a perceptively unknown future may hold for me, I still have some positive feelings about what this new future may hold for me. It covers familiar ground and represents a simple case of returning back to one’s roots. Last night I watched a credible science fiction drama which kept on playing with the sense of déjà vu one gets when returning or venturing into a place or encountering people which reminds you of something that you may have done or experienced in the past.
As I walked slowly through my old neighborhood, I recognized one lady I worked with during my time in the public service administration. She looked the worse for wear. Not in a very bad way, mind you, it’s just that I was accustomed to seeing her all grand and well-dressed and glamorous for work. Socially too, she was always a bit of a buzz and would sometimes be the life of some parties. As I walked past her, here she was speaking consolingly and knowingly with an old man who also looked quite drab in the sense of the way he was dressed and how he projected himself physically.
I would venture to say that he was probably a lot younger than he appeared to be. You see, poor folks, living through hard times that we can only imagine have a habit of ageing a lot quicker than others. There are a number of reasons for this. I don’t think I need to explain them. You are all well capable of working this out for yourselves. The area that I grew up in has been through some rocky changes. In most parts, it has become quite run down. But in some parts I am seeing some positive developments.
The old library has received a good makeover but I have heard grumblings from locals who say that their library assistants (not librarians) don’t care much for the work they have been tasked with. One remark heard from an assistant was that he has to read a book every now and then, just so he can recommend it to visitors. He has to? Doesn’t he want to? Another worker there grumbled that she now has to sit down and read to little children sent to her. So, she does not like reading stories to children as part of her job?
What a pity about this prevailing attitude among many, ironically young, men and women, who regard their vocations as nothing but a job that they go to each day in order to get paid at the end of the month. They regard this as nothing but a laborious chore, as if packing books on its correct shelves, catalogued correctly was hard work. Another complaint heard was over poor service delivery. The sentiment was that this is what folks can expect from workers who get paid a pittance. I have different and much stronger feelings about this than others. And, I believe, that it’s for a good cause anyway.
I have witnessed, rarely, mind you, what rewards hard work can bring to those who try their best, gleefully getting up early for work every morning. I disagree with the sentiment expressed earlier. You either want to work or you don’t. And if you don’t want to work, say, you are not happy with the wages being paid; you can always make way for those who do. The negative argument also goes that those who take over will soon also become complaisant and uncaring about the work they are tasked to do. I mockingly shed a tear for them and appeal to them to make way for those who do want to work and especially for those who need to work.
The neighborhood’s unemployment rate is very high. It may have seemed as though I had ventured from my original thoughts on how my social life would be changing for the better. But it did not. Let me explain why. I see opportunities, not just for me but for others too. Take the library as a good example. What a great place to meet new friends. The community hall is there for a reason, so it should be put to good use. I foresee gatherings with old folks who need to get out of the house every once in a while. In order for them to get that right they are always going to need a helping hand.
And I generally get on well with old folks anyway. Also, just think what wise words and years of life’s experience can do for the younger listener. Old folks, women and men, should always be revered in their communities for all the hard work and things they did over the years. Now, it is their turn to be nurtured by the younger more able-bodied men and women. Socially speaking, we don’t need large malls to gather about in, although the odd excursion every now and then wouldn’t hurt. There is safety in numbers. So, the more young people gather about in the parks prepared for them, the better.
Spending as much time outdoors always lifts the spirits. I’d have to be a little careful about how I go about this in the beginning, I have been warned, but I do look forward to my solitary walks. And to think that just because I am relocating to this neighborhood, I am not lost. We are not living in the back of beyond. We are still close enough to all the other amenities that I have been accustomed to over the years. It’s just that I’ll be doing things a little more frugally for a while. It is for a good cause and I believe it will do me good as well.