July 29, 2013

A Story of Perception: Two people seeing the same thing and having two completely opposite perceptions

This month’s column authored by:
Mary Huebbe
Marketing Consultant
Ridgecrest Village

I have a ten year old boy at home. When we go for walks in the park, Adam will say, “Wow! Those people are really old!” To him, all he is seeing is elderly people walking together. In my response I tell him, “Wow! Look how much they are still in love. They are walking around a beautiful park, holding hands and enjoying each other’s company.”

I try to encourage him to see the beauty and positive influence they are showing us, instead of focusing on the age. I make sure he knows that I dream of someday being able to do that with my husband, and I hope someday he will be able to do the same with his wife. Showing love to another person is important for all of us to do. God says, “Without love, we are nothing.”

The job I have has been a real eye opener. People perceive things completely differently than anyone else. One thing that just happened I feel I need to share.

One of my residents here at Ridgecrest Village showed me an article they saw in a paper or magazine. It implied that senior housing and senior health care facilities were depressing. The article stated that walking into a facility and seeing frail people made them envision their future. It sounded extremely grim and sad. My resident and friend also brought me a letter that she wrote to the person explaining her disagreement. She went on to tell her story. At the age of 72, she and her husband moved into Ridgecrest Village, and they love it! She explains the laughter and genuine care she sees at her new home. In the end, she actually invited him to bring his wife to dinner and enjoy our wonderful buffet (of course, putting emphasis on the desserts). That way he can see the vibrant lifestyle that senior housing offers.

In her final paragraph, she tells how she just asked the maintenance department this morning to till a patch of ground so she could plant tomatoes. Since it was already done, she wanted to go to get her tomatoes planted. She also needed to get her peach tree in, because she is trying to have some competition with another resident who planted a rose bush 20 years ago. It is still doing great! She wants someone to see her tree in 20 years, so she could tell them she was the one that planted it.

So I think, “What messages do I get out of all of this? What can we all learn from this?” Each generation sees the world differently, and we must grow through the knowledge taught to us from the past.

Our seniors created a world of great opportunity and caring. They deserve our respect and adoration for all that they have done for us. It is our duty to guide our children to learn the correct perception of our seniors, so they are able to pass it along for many more
generations.

At Ridgecrest Village, our residents are leaving a legacy: the planting they do, the love they share and the caring attitude each of them have for each other. It really is a family here, and they leave a wonderful perception for us all to enjoy.