The Old

            The poem “On Aging,” which was written by Maya Angelou, shows an old person who doesn’t want people’s pity or sympathy; it gives a piece of information that the old need people’s understanding.

            When I read the poem, I felt it is usual that the old have this kind of feelings – don’t want others’ pity. However, I was a little surprised that an old person wants to sit alone and doesn’t need others’ chattering. It is very strange to me because I haven’t seen any person like that. My grandmother, for instance, is a person who wants people to talk with her and stay with her. She is alone at home since my parents and sister are working outside. She often goes to market to meet her friends but not to shop. Especially, Grandmother’s attitude of loneliness is obvious when a festival is approaching – she visits neighbors one by one to avoid staying alone at home. Similarly, I have seen many old people do those kinds of things to relieve their loneliness. My grandmother and those old people have given me an image of the old: No matter how strong they are or how positive attitudes they have, they are willing to chat with others, especially to their family members. Nonetheless, Angelou portrays a different image of an old woman: she sits alone quietly, has a peaceful expression, uses one of her hands touch her chest where she can feel her heartbeat. It is a beautiful picture that nobody wants to disturb the wonderful peace. I very inspired that the old can enjoy their loneliness, which tells me that old people can be as optimistic as young people, and they have their certain beauty even though they are old.

            Everyone in the world very enjoys the time when he or she is young; there are numbers of people cannot face the facts that they are becoming old. I guess that if those people have a chance to read Angelou’s poem, they may know they still have beauty, which is different, even though they walk slowly, stumble seriously, and climb difficultly. Being old is not a terrible thing; the real terrible thing is people can’t understand the wonderful world that the old have. No matter my grandmother or the person in Angelou’s poem, the one thing what they really need from the youth is understanding.

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One Response to The Old

  1. rstha says:

    Mei, I too compared the old lady with my granmother and found the ability to enjoy lonliness quite unique. Like your grandmother my grandmother, too, never liked staying alone and prefered to be with others. However, she never regretted being old. Nonetheless, as you have said there are many old people who are sad for being old and getting weaker than before. I also felt that this poem if read by those people then it can be helpful to motivate them to enjoy their old age.
    Every part of our life is unique and so is old age; therefore, it must be accepted positively. The way of judging the old age differs from person to person but it is wise to enjoy every moment of old age as it is one of the parts of our life.

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