The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.
He was a war veteran, proudly still carrying his badges with him as a reminder of what he’d been through; it was a tough time and there weren’t any options.
He had to make do with what was demanded of him, at the time.
There weren’t any “options”.
I’ve got “options”.
I can give up any day I want to.
He said he could’ve given up too, ended it all with a rifle pointed towards him; be remembered for it as a misfire.
He said at that time, his life wasn’t his to give up on; because there were people relying on him to do his job.
His job, he said, would change the course of everything in his life for what was to come.
Today as he walks through the streets, few do realise what this man had been through; and how very few of them were truly aware of the sacrifices he made for the many generations to come to live comfortably.
Comfort makes us weak, he’d say; reminding me I needed to remain conscious of my surroundings and pursue my work to boundaries which would test my skills.
I wasn’t quite sure of myself, and neither was I able to understand the meaning of it all.
Of course, the future is unpredictable and nobody truly knows what’s to come.
I couldn’t understand, for the life of me, why the old man was taking the time to chat to me.
It didn’t seem like he needed company, nor was he reminiscing about his time in army.
He simply wanted to convey a message, something simple; “It’s not the end of the world…”
He could read the pain in my eyes, of being constantly rejected to a point that I was convinced maybe I’d ought to think of something else to do with my life.
He convinced me the pain was actually a good thing.
“Look at these pubs we’re passing by, everybody is drinking — they seem to having a good time. You’re here in this bus sitting next to an old war veteran talking about how life is over for you. You’re a 24 year old kid, they’re all drinkin’ over there and they’re twice your age. Who do you think is more mature in this situation? You or them? They don’t seem too worried, and here you are…”
It sounded like a lecture and a rant, only later would I realise the wisdom of it.
He told me when I get home I should watch the movie “A Bronx Tale”, I told him I would.
I never saw the old man again, and I’m not sure how he is because it’s been a while since I’ve thought of him.
But I watched “A Bronx Tale” again today, and the words still remain true;
“The saddest thing in life is wasted talent”