Contrary to popular belief, older individuals make significant contributions to society, particularly wisdom because it is based on their life experiences. They have experienced several eras, thus they are well aware of how things evolve over time. Elderly individuals do not always receive the respect they merit, especially from younger people who frequently belittle their elders because they believe they know more than they do. The following incident involving an elderly woman paying for her groceries in a supermarket serves as an illustration of this. Even though its origin or whether it is a fictional narrative are unknown for sure, it doesn’t matter because the content is universal. The extremely somber elderly woman apologized after telling the cashier that they didn’t have those “green things” back in her day. The cashier didn’t accept her apology and kept on, saying, “That is the issue today.” Your generation did not care enough about the environment to prevent this issue from affecting future generations. The cashier’s reply, which she should read to everyone, elicited an immediate response from the older woman. When prompted further, the elderly woman said, “In our day, we returned the bottles of milk, soda, and beer to the store.” So that we could reuse the bottles repeatedly, we sent them off to be cleaned, sanitized, and refilled. It was recycled in this manner. But in our day, that green thing did not exist. In stores that sold food, purchases were packed in paper bags that were repeatedly used.
The school books were protected using the same bags. The old woman continued, “What a shame we didn’t have that green thing. It might also be personalized thanks to the brown bags.” The old woman said, “Back then, there was a television or a radio in every house and not a TV in every room like today.” The cashier only gave her a dejected glance. In contrast to modern televisions, which have screens the size of a building, earlier models had screens little bigger than a handkerchief. We mixed by hand because there were no electric equipment to perform all the job for us; there was a mill in the kitchen. We had to pack fragile items with newspaper when sending them by mail, not foam or plastic like they do now. We used a human-powered mower back then instead of a gasoline engine to cut the lawn. Also, we were able to exercise this manner without having to visit a gym, run on a treadmill, or use that green thing.
The old woman said, “In our time, we washed the diapers of the newborns since we did not have disposable diapers that we could throw away.” After a while, another staffer opened another box as the line was growing longer with clients. Instead of using a large, energy-intensive machine, we dried our clothing outside. Children did not receive new clothing nearly every day like they do now; instead, they inherited the clothing from their older siblings. Contrary to today, when mothers work 24 hours a day driving their $40,000 vans, people used to take the streetcar or bus to get around, and kids rode their bikes or walked to school in those days. Nevertheless, we didn’t have the green thing.
The cashier was struck stunned by this. The elderly woman picked up her belongings by hand and walked out of the shop. The young cashier has learnt a valuable lesson, and she will undoubtedly hesitate before asking the older generation for something related to environmental consciousness. Despite not having lived long enough to know everything about the world, young individuals frequently believe they know more than older generations.