I'll never forget watching an 80's childhood movie and wondering what they meant by "putting Grandma out to pasture." It confused me as a young girl, although there was a clear sadness about it all. Today, I see the analogy is perfect, because sadly, when someone becomes a Mr. Gray, we do "put him away" until he dies like a beef cow in a pasture. I don't mean to sound depressing, but you can decide for yourself:
When you are out and about running errands, why is an encounter with Mr. Gray rare?
Why do we frustratedly pass Mr. Gray in the fast lane because he's driving too slow?
Why is there a special, separated place where Mr. Gray lives, but everyone else avoids it like the plague?
Because society has perpetuated the belief that Mr. Gray is useless and a burden to the rest of us -- kind of like a doll a child has outgrown and is just taking up space, and so it's tucked away in the closet.
Does these mean our society is heartless? I don't think so. But I do think it's a bad pattern that has developed and remained largely unchanged over time.
Well, it's time to do something about it! HOW?
By seeing Mr. Gray. Not looking, but seeing.
See his value and let him know his worth.
See that he can still contribute and let him take action.
See his wisdom. Then tell him how you'll apply it.
See his story. Listen and respond.
See his face, say hello, and smile.
It seems so simple, but it's not our norm. Let's make a change for Mr. Gray, our future selves. Let's not put Mr. Gray away, but bring him back to where he belongs -- as one of us.