Letters & Opinion

Growing Old – and living to be sorry about it!

Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

There is a saying that ‘You have to be in it to know it.’ Likewise, ‘You have to live it to know it!’

I am talking here about reaching retirement age, going past the age that the system has determined is your cut-out point.

The maker gives us life, the forces of life determine the outcome and circumstances decides your fate. The trend is that you get schooling, then you work — and hopefully save to achieve your goals, materially or otherwise.

In life, there are unforeseen circumstances such as accidents, mishaps, being given a raw deal, or being conned or abused. All these possibilities exist.

It is not unusual to make bad choices, or regretful mistakes, along the way. But the bottom line is, regardless of the path you choose or the hand you were dealt, there comes a time when age becomes a factor – and at that time, you no longer have the strength or means to work, or earn.

This is when the cookie crumbles. If you had built a home, or bought a car, or land, it will still need repairs or maintenance, utility bills still have to be paid, but getting money at that time or stage becomes a struggle. It becomes difficult to acquire a loan, not even part-time work is available, your family and friends drift away and the bills (and in some cases debts) become a living reality – and at that stage is where you wonder who you should turn too, and the state, family and friends all leave you to fend for yourself.

Your past or qualifications or social status mean nothing, you are left with the worry and uncertainty of how to continue living without the needed support. Nobody cares and sometimes your only hope is in prayers, but it is not always answered in a timely manner.

You sometimes reflect on the good you have done for others, the many you have helped along the way, the loyalty you gave to your employers, the governments, plans and schemes you supposed, but despite all the reminiscing, it does not change the price of coffee.

It is really a sad reality to grow old.

Despite, the state having to take care of its people, for some strange reason the aged do not count — no youth no support, no savings no return. No care is the nature of growing old, so death sometimes becomes your only salvation.

Wow, what a time we live in. It is just like the reality of being differently-able, or blind, or suffering from a chronic illness, but the state cares only for your taxes. You make many grow, get rich, become successful, but as it relates to when you grow old, you become the forgotten soul.

This is a living reality, a sad part of our history, an enslaved period in life that says that slavery was never abolished, we just went through a transition!


  1. Carlton my friend, you seem to dread of being addressed as a senior; may I
    inform you my friend, to be known as a senior is a badge of honour to me. In
    the Buses or the Train, people make way for me and most often, offer me their
    seats; no, it’s not because they feel sorry for an old man, some folks are just very
    nice.(not in New York) ofcourse. I must boast of one thing, and quite often wonder
    why they do? before the shutting down of the Gym, I worked out three times a
    week a total of 12 hrs.I feel good, look good they say, and most of all, I try not to
    worry, why, I know I have a Savior who watches over me, and I leave it to Him.
    Carlton my boy, age is just a number, think positive always, have a drink, what the
    hell who cares, don’t overdo it. Most of all on a daily basis, give thanks to the Lord.

    1. Over generalizing again. New York has very generous political and socio-economic support networks for seniors.
      So you alluded to a cloaked metropolitan city that you reside in as a resident predator alien. OK its your cloak and dagger mystery.
      So you misdirect our focus by feigning a convoluted comparison to New York. Fact check from Bloomberg Data and Wall Street Journal. New York has had the largest revenue stream from VISITING tourists, than any other city in the world.
      New York has imported double decker buses to keep up with sightseeing demand.
      Your comparative deception was null.
      Your real casual pappy show attack is laid bare.
      You are veiling your corroded iron fist in the proverbial velvet glove to neutralize the literary power and unique voice of Mr Carlton.
      He is a consistent rationale thinker that must never be tamed or cowered by the oppressive constrictions of a copycat banana republic.
      The first order of a successful banana republic is to evacuate literacy and democratically principled jounalism.
      Your benign potshots at messrs Carlton and Earl are no coincidence.
      Your obvious aim is to neuter their literary prowess to call it like it really is.
      Foxey Sambo. you lack stealth. You are better off reporting on Ru Paul’s Drag flambeauyant monarchy. Or are you still @closet.sequestered.kom?


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