I’ve always wanted to talk to those people who serve the free samples at Costco. Sometimes I hide behind the roasted peanuts to watch them from a distance. Even from afar I can see the terror in their eyes, as crowds wait to pounce on them.
Seriously, you’d think a shipment of rice had just pulled up in Bangladesh the way people grab and shove for a measly piece of chicken on a toothpick. It’s like watching the seagulls from FINDING NEMO squawking, “MINE! MINE! MINE!” when they see a fish!
One observation I am loathe to report is most of those grappling feverishly for a snack are “seasoned citizens” who don’t look like they’ve missed many meals. I know that by merely acknowledging this, I am in jeopardy of being labeled an “age-ist” and prejudiced against the old. But according to the AARP, I am officially in this category myself. I do have a bloated belly, but it’s not exactly from lack of food.
But I’d be blind not to notice the two senior ladies who just cut in front of me at the Public pharmacy counter. One even reached over the sacred pharmacy wall to wave her prescription in front of the pharmacist, asking if he had her drugs in stock.
This disappoints me because I look to people in my generation and older to be the guardians of chivalry and kindness. We are the ones who should be good examples to the young folks.
The last thing I’d expected was that we’d become the poster children for selfishness.
To be fair, it’s not all of us. But since moving to Florida almost 9 years ago, I’ve noticed it here more than anywhere else. I wonder if it’s just an unavoidable byproduct of the “retirement mentality” we’re promoting.
We lure them here with the promise the “Paradise Coast” is a place to leave your responsibilities behind and finally “enjoy life”. The only problem is, for many people “enjoying life” means living a completely selfish existence.
Our parent’s motto “do unto others…” has been traded for “It’s all about me”.
I’ve noticed a lot of people here constantly looking for amusements and diversions. You know, take in a concert, get in a game of golf, try out a new restaurant. Nothing wrong with that…as long as that’s not all you’re living for.
True, as an American you have every right to spend your money and time however you wish. However, if you choose to call yourself a Christian, in Christ you have no such right.
I’m afraid the word “retirement” is nowhere in the Bible. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with quitting a job and having more free time. I’ve laughed at the “Spending my kid’s college money” bumper stickers on the back of passing sports cars. But the more I see the desperate needs around me – poverty, parental neglect, foster children – the more the humor of that bumper sticker leaves me cold.
At the moment, we have three foster children living in our home in addition to my three teenagers. This has been no small undertaking, and admittedly isn’t everyone’s calling. But how I admire my friend Ann who, in her 80s, is a single foster parent herself. That’s in addition to being a “Guardian ad litem” for other foster children, plus ministering to inmates at the local jail.
Sure, Ann could be playing bridge and shuffleboard every day, but she’d determined to make a difference with the time she has left. As I grow closer to retirement age, Ann is my hero.
Biblically speaking, retiring from doing good is a “dirty word”. God never stops expecting us to make a difference, and one great example is found in the book of Joshua. Caleb was 85 when he finally received his piece of the Promised Land, after having wandered in the wilderness with Moses for 40 years.
Instead of choosing a nice level plot to build a condo on, Caleb pointed toward the uphill climb toward Hebron and said, “Give me this mountain!” This area had warriors already living there he’d have to fight off, but Caleb decided to go out on top instead of coasting through the flatlands.
So if God has blessed you with health and financial independence, why not ask Him for another mountain to conquer. End your days fighting for something that matters, not for BBQ’d weeny samples from frightened Costco employees.
Seriously, haven’t those poor Costco servers been through enough?