"Not really mate. Are you going to the shops?”
“I am, would you like a lift?” offered Daddy Eco.
They chatted on the way to the shops and Daddy Eco learnt that the gentleman had migrated from Turkey many years ago, suffers from arthritis, and now lives alone.
Daddy Eco dropped him at the shops and returned to take him home an hour later. He also gave him his phone number and told him to call if he wanted a lift to the shops or anywhere else. The gentleman was surprised and grateful.
"That’d be fantastic mate. Are you Australian?" he cheekily asked with a hint of sarcasm.
It is sad that this man was surprised that an Australian was offering to help. “That just doesn’t usually happen here” he said. I can see why he thought that. The sense of community that Australians were renowned for only a few generations ago is gone. It seems we rarely do anything for anyone unless we can gain something from the transaction.
The gentleman has since rang for "a social call" a couple of times and recently asked if Daddy Eco would pick up a few things for him each week when at the supermarket. He was very specific about which juice he needed and which bread he liked and why. Daddy Eco didn't have the heart to tell him that we don't shop at the supermarket anymore, so we've decided Daddy Eco can visit the supermarket to buy for him, despite our skipping the supermarket challenge.
He seems truly appreciative of Daddy Eco's time and even wrote to friends overseas of this ‘young man who has been helping him’. He has also told Daddy Eco to visit whenever he feels like it. “I don’t get many visitors, and if I died, nobody would notice and I’d smell out my neighbours” he said only half joking.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to live in a community where friendships between old and young were normal?
Perhaps we will one day……
Do you know any of the elderly within your community? Do you give them a hand?
(Edited: The above has been edited after posting to remove images of the preferred location for our Hunter Valley eco village and links to our eco village website, which we have had to temporarily pull down)