Essay, Pages 5 (1137 words)
The past of an old man living in Tijuana can reveal history and knowledge to young people. When you leave the city by the road of Ensenada, you encounter a majestic field of flowers, you can see the sea at the distance. You will see a bright red building, this is the orphanage ran by Mama and Papa T.
Papa T is a reserved man to his own silence. He is a hard worker and a soldier. Like Mama his age was uncertain, Papa was ninety in 1978 and in 1999 he stilled looked like ninety.
He was of short height, with dark skin, and a white sparse mustache. His eyes were brown and faded in consequence of the cataract infection, and they looked almost blue. Papa, as a young man rode a horse, riding to the desert carrying a rifle. Papa was a soldier of Pancho Villa.
The orphanage was built by Papa’s own hands. Papa named the orphanage the “Home of Light” (Hogar de Luz).
He painted it sky blue when he finished. He added, to the orphanage, a church for the community. It was the first Protestant church in that coast. Papa and his sons built it. After the church was finished, Papa realized that the orphanage needed to be remodeled, modernized. With no hesitation, Papa got himself into work, he started the construction behind the old building, this time he used brick instead of wood and modern bathrooms and dorm rooms all around. Crews of American workers arrived to the place, bringing supplies and young working hands.
Papa will thank everyone at the end of the day, he will wait until they hit the highway and then he will get a ladder and his hammer to correct the mistakes they had done. He will spend about two days fixing the angles and redoing some frames. He will say “It’s all right, the young people need to work. It’s good for them to have work.”
Papa and the border of time prove the differences between him and young people. People like the young Americans workers where not aware of the Papa’s past, they just felt compassion for him. They became ignorant at that moment.
Americans will think of Papa as simple or lessened in some way because of his age. That was a mistake, Americans thought him wrong. The young people from the crew had a different perspective of the old man. Years were separating their mutual understanding. One time, an American Crew member show compassion to the old man and mentioned he was a good man and patted Papa in the head. Papa was not comfortable with that remark, and he felt impotent and unsatisfied. Papa later mentions a spontaneous remark to Urrea, “At least Pancho Villa was a gentleman. He let a man have self-respect.” This was Papa’s past experience as a soldier of Pancho Villa, a man who seemed to be his idol.
One day Papa decided to leave home in search of a dream he had. Mama was sad and she cried. Papa’s dream was repetitive, if you were a close friend to him he will tell you that Jesus called him. Jesus will intrude in his mind to show a barren plain. It was dead with no vegetation and isolated from any living thing. Jesus will hand him over a seed to Papa’s hand, He told Papa to plant the seed where they stood, Jesus told Papa he was to build his house there.
Such emotion will make Papa sensitive and he will cry. He had in mind, in his perspective, he was to die there at that moment. Papa was a tough and strong man, he was a
soldier, so he decided to do what his dream told him to do. He couldn’t be stopped. Mama just told him good bye.
After two months passed, the first notice about Papa appeared. A stranger appeared into
Mama’s door. A man had news from Papa. Papa had finally made it to the desert. He was making the dream come true. Papa was building a church. Papa found the way to collect supplies for the construction and people to help somehow. After he came back home, he related to Urrea that he had made it and that he was still alive.
Borders are specific points where things or individuals meet, and separates one from the other, but not always. There are borders that, ironically, can create unity or some kind of connection between them. Borders can also do both; separate and unify.
It is remarkable how things and people change over time. This changes through time make borders, separating one generation from the other. The history of a person is unique and different from the rest, and there is no copy. We, the young people of this current generation tend to add more barriers to the past generations, segregating them from us because we think of them as antiquated, old, and unusable. We become ignorant because we don’t want to believe that an older person can know more than us, we are selfish and sometimes disrespectful to our elders. A teaching from these people is rarely welcomed.
Borders in the sense of time, separate old people from young people. We both have different perspectives from each other. Old people think that their generation was better that they lived in a better time. Some of them think of young people as freaks, as a lost generation. Young people think that the old people’s time is gone and now we are taking over, we also tend to lessen old people, we don’t give them the importance they deserve. We make a big mistake when we do that because we are not taking advantage of the great opportunity that this aged people
have, they can provide to us their wisdom, experience, and their past. We also think of their time as boring, because some of the technological advances that we have now been not present at that moment. We, the young people, think that we know it all when we are just starting to live. That shows how inexperienced and ignorant we are.
However, there are times when this borders unifies, bringing together the past to the present, old people and young people, it is like a travel through time. When us, the young people, are willing to open our minds, we will discover that we can learn a lot from the old people. They are the ones who made the world we are living in today. I am not asking for mercy or compassion for this aged people, but all I ask is respect and tolerance. They can be the ones that can advise us on how to do things, remember that they have been through all that you are just going through.