Teachers of life: The true measure of any society…
by Ketcia Peters
These past months I worked tirelessly at the retirement home I own and manage. It has been a difficult period of course: COVID-19 has just recently relieved us in some ways, and we’re still recovering from months of uncertainty and difficulties.
Life has been difficult, strange, boring at times.
My team and I worked overtime to assist the senior citizens now living in their new home at our senior’s residence. We are not just caring for them physically, like any other business operator should, but trying to support them emotionally and psychologically. Because they too needed to feel normality in this strange time.
They’re strong, however. They know how to overcome difficult days. If you think about it for a minute, they have been the ones who created our society over the past decades in shaping our country, our communities, our life. I’m sure it wasn’t always easy for them neither, obviously.
Sometimes we tend to forget how much they’ve been through and how difficult life was for them. That’s why we need to advocate for them, protect them, serve them, listen to their respective stories, to try to understand what they experienced.
“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members”. A great country, a wealthy country, is one where senior citizens are not forgotten, are not taken for granted. We need not only to respect them for their contribution, but we also need to treat them with gratitude for the heritage they left behind. Because that’s what makes a difference between one country and another. That’s what makes us who we are.
Because we are good people we need to treat the most vulnerable in the way we would like to be treated, the way they should be treated.
Senior citizens are people who I’m very fond of.
It’s not easy running such a business during a pandemic without losing sight of what’s most important and providing them with the care they need.
For this reason, I am grateful for the most fantastic team working with me, which helps achieve the goals we set. During the pandemic period, and now that we are receding that dreadful time bubble, we have had zero cases of Covid-19. ZERO.
We’re possibly one of the fewest who accomplished that.
What’s the secret sauce? Asked a journalist who requested an interview in order to feature our story in the local newspaper. The secret sauce is that we run the residence like we would with our own family. Like those seniors are our relatives. They’re not just patients or clients. They’re part of a bigger family. And so they feel connected to us and we feel connected to them. They feel helpful, autonomous, safe and loved.
This is why we were recently featured in a newspaper for what we do. Because we don’t run an enterprise, we manage a place where people still have a life with plenty of joy. For us it is not just a job – it is a “calling” and we were born to answer the call.
They are fantastic people, they truly accomplished great things with their lives. We know that because we’ve listen to their stories. We know each of them personally, and we care for them as a kid would care for their parents. With true passion and true joy in listening to all those wonderful adventures.
Because they are family.
Yet, they are not perfect. They bicker and fight among each other sometimes…just like we would, none of us is perfect.
We all have our limitations, and the job of future generations is to overcome those limitations and become more than what we were.
We can today do the things we do, and accomplish our objectives because some decades ago, those seniors build a path for us.
The conversations we have with them helped us understand that.
They have helped us understand how far we’ve come already, and, as paradoxically as it may seem, they make us long for a brighter future.
A future where our children can do more.
We have plenty of sins and mistakes and troubles that we will burden our children with. Just like those seniors did with us.
Not because they’re bad, of course, but because they’re not perfect
Nobody’s perfect, and we’ll always long for something more, for something better.
We shall always have hope for a brighter day
Because while seniors are sharing with us their stories and life lessons, children give us hope.
I know they’ll do better than us.
For life’s betterment.
Unknowingly, magistri vitae: teachers of life.
Ketcia Peters is an entrepreneur and community advocate for economic inclusion and development for Black Canadians and the social justice sector. Her firm, Ketcia Peters Group Inc. (KPG) provides bilingual organizational and human development services to the public and private sector. This includes analysis and coaching of HR practices, strategic planning, organizational change, equity and inclusivity, and anti-racism. KPG also provides individual and group coaching. In recent years, KP Group Inc. has shifted to greatly expand its equity, diversity and inclusivity work at the municipal and community level, with a focus on anti-racism and anti-oppression. This work centers on a trauma-informed approach in order to ensure we do not cause further harm to those most marginalized in our communities. Visit her website at: https://ketciapeters.com/