Never hang up your boots..!

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION -

HE walked, rather jogged along with a smile on his face and a song on his lips. This was the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive month I’d seen him in the park and cu­rios­ity got the bet­ter of me, “You seem to be en­joy­ing re­tire­ment,” I said.

“Very much,” he said as he ac­tu­ally slowed down for me, “I’m en­joy­ing re­tire­ment, be­cause I haven’t stopped work­ing!” We in­tro­duced our­selves to each other and I gath­ered speed to keep the pace of this sev­enty plus ‘young’man, “You know some­thing Bob,” he said, “The se­cret of keeping young is to never hang up your boots!”

“But didn’t you ever dream of re­tire­ment years?” I panted, “Sit­ting by the sea, watch­ing the waves, read­ing a book…” “And watch­ing life slip­ping by?” he asked, “Oh yes I did, and I still do that ev­ery once in a while, but the great­est mo­ments I have is in know­ing that not only am I still use­ful to so­ci­ety but I am paid for what I do. Even at my age!”

There was no doubt youth was in his veins. He walked with a speed and agility that you saw in forty or thirty year olds. There was joy on his face, and like I said a smile on his lips and ev­ery once in a while he whis­tled hap­pily. I walked with him as he spoke of politi­cians who grew even younger as they grew older, “Why?” he asked me. I shook my head. “Be­cause they love their work! The same way we should love our abil­ity to con­tinue, and in­stead of the world think­ing us old, they’ll look at us with respect. Meet Kishore over here, he works too, ask him why he works?” he said as he in­tro­duced me to an­other ‘young’ man with a head­ful of white hair.

“Be­cause my son and fam­ily were strug­gling,” said Kishore sim­ply, “So I took up a part time job, and now you should see the new respect the whole fam­ily has for me, as they en­joy my con­tri­bu­tion to the home’s in­come!”

My new friend now walked faster, and looked at me, “I don’t work for the money,” he said, “But be­cause bore­dom of re­tire­ment can kill a man or woman. When I work as a le­gal con­sul­tant, help­ing so many peo­ple to write wills and help with their prop­erty, I ex­er­cise my mind, and I know I am keeping Alzheimer’s and De­men­tia at bay!” he said with a twin­kle in his eyes.

I was breath­less and walked over to a bench and sat down. He and his friend Kishore were over twenty years older than me, but they were fit­ter than me. I heard my new friend shout to me, “Never hang up your boots Bob, never..!”

—Email: bob­s­ban­ter@gmail.com

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