Senior Citizens and Teenagers
I was one of a group of Senior Citizens invited by a local school to be interviewed about our childhood and our lives. The children were well prepared, anxious to be polite and well informed.
Some questions were:
Q. Would you like a carer?
Q. Would you like help with shopping?
A. And my only answer to these could be, ‘Look at me. Do I look as if I need help with shopping?’ Then I explained that there are people of my age who would be very grateful for this kind of help.
These were reasonable questions but just showed me what a range of health and ability there was in the elderly population, and also made me once again aware of how much life for many of us had changed for the good.
They asked questions about knife crime.
Q. Was I afraid of being knifed when I was young?
This brought me up sharp.
A. No. If there was this kind of crime going on I was not aware of it and so not afraid of it.
Q. Did I have a mobile phone? How did my mother know that I was safe?
A. My parents didn’t have a phone. They just knew that I was safe even though I spent all my free time in the fields and woods.
These children were living with this fear of knife crime daily, justified or not.
How could I explain the innocence of my youth to them? What had happened during my lifetime? How had I/we allowed this to happen?