An Irony

(Image from African American Elders Resource Directory)
Every morning, I go to work and a middle-aged man greets me and opens the gate for me. I get to my desk, a middle-aged woman walks past me and starts mopping the floor, another one comes to clean my desk. All the while, what do I do when I see these people? Do I just ignore them? No. I greet them, good morning, good morning. I realize that any of them could have been my Dad, Mum, Uncle or Aunt? It is such an irony of life, the elder serving the younger and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Or I could look at it this way, everyone is just doing his or her job. But can I really say it is as simple as that?

Do those elderly people really look at it like that? Funny thing is that two years from now, my career would have really progressed but those elderly people will still be at the same spot, talk about stagnancy. Where is the progression for them? Yes, they might have had a slight increase in income but nothing significant enough to change their status in life. I really don’t know what these people's stories are but whatever the case, is it really too late for those guys to do something to change their lot in life. From my myopic view, my answer is 'I don’t think so.

There are many great people who started late in life such and ended up successful. Examples are listed below

• Mary Kay, the famous cosmetics maker who started her business in 1963 at the age of 45.

• Harrison ford, the famous veteran actor was not a successful actor until the age of 34.

• Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man, was 43 when he began drawing his legendary superheroes and his partner Jack Kirby was 44 when he created The Fantastic Four.

• Julia Child didn't even learn to cook until she was almost 40 and didn't launch her popular show until she was 50.

• Harlan Sanders, the Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, was 66 when he began to promote his style of cooking and create an empire.

I could go and on but the examples are just too many. Even if one doesn’t have an education, it is never too late to start. Nothing says that because one started late, one cannot succeed. Trying is in itself a form of succeeding. Succeed at valuing yourself and go for it!

If, as John Greenleaf Whittier says, the saddest words are "it might have been," the next saddest have to be "I should have tried."



  2. mmmmm.........Human beings have varying levels of tenacity and different interpretations of success.

    Re: Success:..... For some people, the fact that they can eat once a day and have a bed to sleep in at night is success.

    Re: Tenacity:...For some people, once they get past X years, they rather stick to what they know and give up on any dreams they had.

    Life is not easy and it's certainly harder on some....!

  3. As they say, all fingers are not equal. Some of those people view it as just a job, and some may have children 'bigger' than you.

    True happiness I've come to realize is being content with what you have.

  4. Its hard to tell.... for some of them they are content with their lives and prefer to see their kids get there.
    for some, well, its simply life or fate that happened to them and i bet they still thank God they can do that.
    It doesnt mean they didnt wish they had done some things differently but like i said, life has hapnd to them

  5. @ Ibhade: I feel you. It is always good to wake up early but it is best to wake up sometime than not wake up at all.

    @ Beautiful: yes o

    @ Naijamum: I agree with you, it all depends on one's thinking. I know some people have it harder than others but some people just refuse to stay down, no matter what.

    @ Myne: You are right about the children. About the true happiness, if i strive for something better than what I am today, does that mean I am not truly happy?

    @ Omotee: I get you, but do you know that some people have the opportunity to do something better, but will rather stay in their comfort zone because it is easier. I guess the drive makes the difference

  6. hmmm, nice post, encouraging to learn about those those ppl featured.

  7. Nice post. Some of this folks think its too late to go back to school that is the ones considering going back. There was this old black cleaner I got close to a few years ago. She said she was doing it because she doesn't want to sit at home all day. People do it for different reason. They may not necessarily need the money. Just for them to have something to look forward to.


  8. @ Chizzy: Thanks for dropping by, glad to know you learnt from the post.

    @ brown skin: Yes, it is never too late to do anything. Better late than never

  9. deep words! thanks for sharing.

    I have finally updated my blog with the award u presented me..phew!

  10. Hmm, truth is, some of them might actually have fulfillment in these jobs.

    My hubby had a driver once who was not just a driver but also a landlord with 3properties in lagos...he had been a driver for years but he had learned that he could give his children more than what he had, and he lived his life to make that a reality...funny thing is, I learned so many life lessons from him, yet someone else might see him and write him off as just a driver.

    I think in his own way, he was a success because he took the chance to try..just like u said

  11. Hmmm...I thought I was the only one thinking in that direction. I found it quite embarassing and uncomfortable being called "sir" ...and stuff at work by people that were old enough to be my parents and I wondered what went wrong?
    Someone mentioned that some of them were not opportuned, some made wrong decisions, some take it as a hobby to go out and interact with people...which is true for some. It is also possible that a calamity hit which forced them into the menial jobs to save the family from...
    The problem with being in such a position at an old age is that you don't learn as fast as the young and are unwilling to take major risks (like u mentioned move out of comfort zone) because of the adverse implications it might have on your family that you are barely trying to steer to safety & prevent them from ending up like you. Except you like to do it for fun, just pray that you don't end up in their shoes cos it's easier to see where the doors to a burning house is if you are not in the house covered up in smoke.

    One thing I actually learnt is the reasons why parents are always crossed when kids refuse to go to can't tell them "I don't want you to end up like me or mama lagbaja across the street".

    This piece shows deep thinking on your part AuntyLola...nice.


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