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Observing people has always been one of my most enjoyable sources of inspiration. Even as the process of doing so is now often misconstrued as dubious and troll-like in today’s wakey-wakey woke world, there’s still a certain innocence to it, the kind that reminds one of an unshifting universal truth: in every man is a story and as though scanning at books on a shelf, there always lies a kind of wonderment what each cover might reveal or hide.

Delving into this favorite pastime further, what I always particularly look for whenever I am among people is the seemingly-unique interplay between old people and their little companions. At the prime forest of the shopping malls, where my subjects like to dwell, a poem, “The little boy and the Old Man” by modern poet, Shel Silverstein is never lost on me.

Said the little boy, sometimes I drop my spoon. Said the old man, I do that too.
The little boy whispered, I wet my pants. I do that too, laughed the old man
Said the little boy, I often cry. The old man nodded, so do I.
But worst of all, it seems grownups don’t pay attention to me. And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand. I know what you mean, said the little old man.

It’s also been said that whenever old people look at their grandchildren or other tots for that matter, they view and regard them as the upgraded versions of their own children. Much better than that, they are not only regarded as new friends but co-equals. In a way, their felt emotions towards these younglings are improvements in themselves, of an initial feeling from long ago, like when they first set eyes on their own new-borns. I recall, there was one mom who had said grandparents always become sentimental whenever their apos are around to visit. She might have forgotten to add ‘elated’, because what grandparents actually appreciate most when looking at their grandies, is the promise and hope that these little feet are not only the new crop but the more improved versions at that. So, never view them as sentimental folks, people. Don’t flatter yourself.

I actually believe this. When my mom and papa where still alive, one of the most common things we could hear from them is comparing our kids to us when we were their age. And as luck would have it, total appreciation was always in their favor. Back at the malls, many-a time have I heard running commentaries of moms reminding their mothers not to spoil the children. At that, the curt reply would always be total dedma.

However, it’s not always the case that little people always appreciate the doting of their elders. It’s not a perfect world after all. However, all things even out eventually and when it’s time for these little feet to become grandparents themselves, the wheel would have by then already turned full circle.


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