I find many ideas for blogs while I’m at the airport waiting for my flight. It’s a great place to people watch. Usually I see older adults interacting in ways that inspire me—an older woman helping a mom entertain her little children. A man who is stooped and old but tries to give up his chair to a pregnant woman. Sadly, during my last trip I watched the actions of an aging man that was disappointing on so many levels.
Directly across from me in the waiting room sat a large older man—perhaps about 70 and at least 90 lbs or so overweight. He was on his cell phone talking with a business colleague about a meeting they were going to attend. During his conversation, he ate two large candy bars. As soon as he hung up, he dug into his travel bag, took out his insulin pen and injected himself.
What do young people think as they watch people like this man abuse his body knowing their generation will be taking care of him and others like him who chose smoking, drinking and overeating? I think most of us embrace the beautiful older man or woman down the block who is independent and taken care of him/herself but who is wearing out with advanced years. However, it difficult to feel very good about giving time, money, healthcare etc to those who don’t respect their own bodies.
I was embarrassed for the man at the airport, for me and for the boomers he represents. We are a big group of 78 million people in the US alone and every Nation is struggling with resources as this pig moves through the python. There has to be some accountability for those who don’t care about the future. I wish I had answers.