I don't pretend to be an authority on this subject. So, this is just my personal view based on recent reflections made upon recent events.
Some background first. I am one of the members of a committee which is organising a church camp next year. Last year, our church camp was held in Seremban which is less than an hour's drive from Kuala Lumpur. Some 300 people went and most, if not all, of the participants had a good and refreshing time.
Church Camp is currently organised biannually. So, we are starting with our organisation for next year's camp. We are now targetting 500 people to attend. Compared to the organisers of the 2005 camp, the current committee is made up by many members who are below 40 years old. Amongst the locations we are considering are a beach resort in Kuantan, a beach resort in Damai Laut and the same resort we went to in Seremban last year. These 3 places can accomodate 500 people.
When the idea was thrown in at the committee, the general response from the older members of the committee was concern over the distance of the Kuantan and Damai Laut resorts. The former takes 3 hours drive whilst the latter can reach 4 hours. Seremban, being nearer and more familiar, seems to be a preferred choice. The committee tried to deliberate on the pros and cons of the 3 resorts. For some, the idea of going to the same resort twice in a row for church camp might not be appealing. Based on personal feedbacks obtained, I gather that those under 40 years old are more open to the idea of having the church camp elsewhere and distance does not seem to be a factor. Those above 40 years old are, no surprises, more keen in the Seremban resort.
And I was wondering aloud in my heart, why are they so boring? Why are they not keen to try out something new? Why not have a change? Despite arranging chartered buses for the longer trips, why are they still resistant to the travelling? After all, the quotations are comparable and the resorts at Kuantan and Damai Laut are much better with beaches and all...
Last Saturday, my wife and I went to a hypermarket at Alamanda in Putrajaya to get some groceries. We walked a bit. After walking for about 1 hour in the hypermarket, my legs start to ache. I am not that old. I am below 35 but I confess, I have not exercised. Anyway, by the time we got into our car, we had walked about 1 1/2 hours in all. And I was telling my wife that I'm getting old with all this shopping!
In fact, shopping nowadays mean parking, getting straight to our intended store, get the stuff we want and back home. No more casual window shopping along the malls. 10 - 15 years ago, we can walk in the malls for a whole day. No sweat. Short trips for holidays meant making sure we go to see everything that can be seen! 10 years ago, I walked on the streets of Paris for 4 days in a row to savour the sights and sounds. Now, perhaps, I am not up to it. Even with a good pair of walking shoes. Priorities have changed, I guess. It is not that important anymore whether I get to see this or that.
And I wonder what would I be in 20 years time...will I be resistant to a church camp at Kuantan or Damai Laut which is 3 to 4 hours' drive away and prefer a shorter trip to Seremban instead? Perhaps. Would I be as enthusiastic? The mind may be willing but the body may not.
And so, I guess now I may have well understood our older members better in the way they think or react to suggestions of whatever nature from the younger members. Of course, I have not personally asked our older members why they are not as enthusiastic with the resorts which are further away apart from knowing that they think 3 hours' drive is too far. But I think, I do now.
Thank God for He has revealed to me through the shopping trip a little truth about why older people may have acted or responded differently from the younger ones. This should keep me in check and be a good reminder to me to receive their responses with a more open and understanding heart. Hopefully, with this truth, I would be able to also understand the views of the generation to come for one day, I will also be old and less able myself.
Isn't it wonderful how tiring legs from a shopping trip can teach you a thing or two about life?
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