Should I be flattered? I received a letter yesterday to say I’d been ‘randomly selected’ to complete a survey. I suppose it might have been more flattering had I been selected because I was deemed to be super-important or highly efficient or extremely wise. The ‘randomly’ suggests that I’m any old Tom, Dick or Harry – or the female equivalent.

Any thought of flattery swiftly plummeted as I read on. The survey is for ‘older adults.’ Am I as old as I feel – which varies from day to day – or does the fact that I’m nearing my three score years and ten make me an ‘older adult’? Well, yes; otherwise I wouldn’t have been randomly selected. But with my parents both alive – and more than twenty years older than me – doesn’t that make me middle-aged rather than old? Wishful thinking!

The questions in the survey made me think that I’m doing pretty well for an ‘older person.’ But as I’ll receive the same survey each year for the next five, things might change. The good news is that the research findings from this survey may help to provide better care, and enhance the well-being, of older people (when they reach that undefined stage.)

Each individual person is of value and loved by God whatever their age, ability, health or status. His example of love is one to follow, so that we learn to regard people as he does – with honour and respect.

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