老人【Old Folks】

What are old folks, and what do you know about them? Old people are those who have given up on contributing anything to life around them. They sit in homes for the elderly and withdraw from society, friends and neighbors.


That is not the right thing to do. Gate-Ball is a good game for them, but the best gate-ball game I have ever seen was one where the players were both elderly and young people. Many young people don’t even know how an older person feels about life. The memories they have would be very educational for the young people of today, who have everything their parents can afford.

これは好ましいことではありません。 ゲートボールはお年寄りに向いたスポーツですが、これまで見た中で一番よかったのは、お年寄りと若者が一緒にプレーした試合でした。多くの若者は、お年寄りが人生についてどのように感じているのかすら知りません。お年寄りの記憶は、両親から与えられるだけ与えられて育った今日の若者にとりたいへん貴重なものなのです。

These days, there is little knowledge of war, hunger, poverty or hard work. In the old days, everyone was too tired to do anything but sleep after the day’s work was done. Still, there were many experiences that could be shared, if young people would listen to the elderly.


In my home town of Norwich, New York, the young folks from the schools come to the local home for old and sick people to talk to them, once a week as a kind of social education. It makes the elderly feel good and the young may feel bored, but it is good training for them. They also learn some of the old customs, manners, and character of the past. The old Japanese custom of keeping Grandfather and Grandmother at home was a really good one. The children could benefit from the love and character of the elderly and the elderly could feel valuable and of use in the family. The father and mother would also have a source of advice for troubled times, if they listen.

私のふるさと、ニューヨークのノーウィッチでは生徒たちが週に1度、社会教育の一環として地元の老人や病気の人たちの家庭を訪門し、彼らとお話します。お年寄りは喜んでくれます。生徒たちはうんざりするかもしれませんが良い勉強です。 彼らはまた、この経験を通じて古い習慣や作法、そして昔がどういう時代であったかを学ぶことができます。おじいさんやおばあさんと一緒に暮らすというのは、昔の日本の実に良い習慣でした。子供たちはお年寄りの愛情や人となりからさまざまなことを学び、お年寄りたちも家族の役に立っていると感じることができたのです。また、父親や母親にとっても、聞く耳を持ちさえすればお年寄りは困ったときに助言を与えてくれる存在でした。

America is especially bad in its separation of the young from the old. Communities are set up that don’t allow children. There are tall fences and the elderly sit behind them and swim, play golf, or talk to each other. This may seem pleasant to some, but the lack of children is a terrible thing. Children give us brightness and honesty of thought. Best of all, they provide a happiness of spirit that is of real value to the elderly in keeping healthy and happy.


My mother never lost the joy of life as long as there were children around. When she was taken to a home for the old was the time she really became old. Don’t you think it would be valuable to spend more time talking to Grandfather and Grandmother? Give it a try!


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