Mike Adams

As soon as she finished talking to the teller, the elderly woman walked out of the bank and headed across the parking lot towards her car. She was walking slowly and labored with every step as she leaned upon her cane for support. She had no one to help her. No husband. No son. No daughter. There was nothing to lean on but a cane.

The younger man who had been so impatient with her needed to hear my pastor talk about the time our church went caroling at the old folks’ home about a year and a half ago. He needed to hear the stories of the elderly people whose lives had been enriched by hearing songs sung to them by people who had never met them before. He needed to hear that elderly people are a treasure and not an inconvenience.

Of course, my pastor was not there to tell him. But I was in the bank that day. In case you haven’t figured it out, the impatient man in the line was me.

I should have dropped what I was doing and given the woman a hand as she made her way across the parking lot. I should have made plans to go back to the retirement home to spend a few hours of visitation. Like you, I probably won’t make it back until Christmas. I have places to go and things I have to do.

Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.