Walking Time Machines

By Jason Santerre, Editor

A tip-of-the-cap to montreal's seniors

The issue of Montréal enSanté you’re holding in your hands is our humble attempt at celebrating the elders in our lives. In our society, which is driven by performance and capital gain, as soon as someone retires from the workforce, they’re labeled obsolete.

We, at MES, don’t see it that way. Retirees are now living 20 to 40 years after retirement age. That’s two to four decades’ worth of contribution to society, big and small. Indeed, when of sound body and mind, the elderly not only can but want to contribute.

They volunteer and fill those part-time jobs many of us deem demeaning (there are more seniors working in restaurants and retail than ever before). And the elderly continue to create, make art, grow our food, and look after others, whether family members or not. Most seniors are nowhere near their best-before date.

When putting this issue together, we spoke to many Montrealers over the age of 65. From our cover star, the venerable Jean Coutu (91), to practitioners of Tai Chi, retirees refusing to slow down, and proud grandparents, we gathered a pile of wisdom and insight, the kind of stuff you can’t simply “Google.”

It’s one of the big reasons why, out of the four issues we publish every year, our seniors’ issue is our favourite to work on. During our many conversations and interviews, their joy in recounting “the good old days” is palpable. But these men and women offer more than mere nostalgia. They offer experience.

They have seen and survived things the next generation will have to read about in history books to believe. Thankfully, modern medicine and healthier lifestyles enable many seniors to live longer, more fruitful lives. That’s good news for all of us. It means we still get to hear their stories firsthand.

Why not take advantage of these walking time machines? Take time to talk to the octogenarian in the apartment down the hall, the man behind the counter at your local deli, the woman sitting and knitting on the park bench every Sunday. They all have something to offer, if only a moment of kindness.

Life is hard, sure, but think of the elders in our lives. They’ve already done so much of the hard work for us. Why not celebrate that notion today? You’ll be sitting where they’re sitting soon enough.

 

Winter 2019, Vol 11 N°1

Current Issue

Spotlight on Seniors

Winter 2019
Vol 11 N°1

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