We set ourselves up as solidarity apostles, when
we work together for a harmonious and cooperative society, a society in which we
all fit, and, specially, A SOCIETY OF ALL AGES.
course we are aware of the difficulties for acting with generosity and
solidarity, but we wish to encourage these values between generations as the
major goal to ensure the smooth running of the society. We want to be sure to
know if we are walking towards this society in which men and women of all ages
would live together in peace and harmony, or if we are only formulating a
wellintentioned slogan. We don’t want that the solidarity so often announced
remains as words, since the good words have to be put into practice if we want
to be able to smell their perfume. First we have to see what it is done, and
then listen what it is said.
We have to say to the young who are standing by that they are the
first beneficiaries of their own generosity. Let’s remember what has been said
in the Elderly Parliament celebrated in Luxembourg in 1993: “We were yesterday
what you are today and tomorrow you will be what we are today.” Today’s
solidarity has to be for everybody and forever. What is at stake is nothing less
than the future generations. We will see if we are able to gather initiative and
experience in one effort.
At that moment, I believe it is necessary to have sufficient
courage to tell the truth. We have to unveil the silence in order to allow our
collective conscience to breathe: the intergenerational dialogue is difficult
and almost non-existent, and an obvious indifference prevails, and we talk a lot
without listening? Certainly. We are all a little responsible for this situation
that is not satisfactory for anybody, and we have the duty to renew it
establishing a significant change of action.
Even though it is not generally understood this way, it is true
that we, the elderly, don’t want any paternalistic or partial attitudes for us.
Yes we want respect for our elderly condition and not compassion or pity.
Obviously, we hope to get as soon as possible to worthy contributions and until
then we have to accept some exclusive advantages that doesn’t mean a
discrimination distinguishing or separating us from other generations. We admit
a certain preferential treatment, not one of inferiority. The “candy” they offer
us every day with good intentions (clubs and exclusive trips for retired and
pensioners, special shows for elderly, etc.) is good for nobody if we have to
enjoy it apart. We have to integrate ourselves into the other generations, not
separate ourselves from them.
We can give our time, experience, loyalty and affection. To the
family, friends, everybody. We can and we want to offer our time to the others.
I know that the elderly are generous.
But it is obvious that, to all this, there will always be someone
asking: “What do the elderly want? It would be the last straw if they would take
away our rights. Aren’t they retired and receiving their pension? What else they
want?” And for us, of course, being good and shut up, reading the newspaper at
home or in the park everyday, playing cards in our local retired club, taking
our grandsons to the day nursery, and waiting for the moment in which they
decide to take us to a Residence. For us it is good, of
It is possible that time has come to begin another story that
should be written with capital letters. We have to get ready for this. Our
advantage is that our years allow us to see the whole road. They, the younger,
can only see the first stretch. And we don’t want that those saying that they
are listening to us would not take seriously our legitimate aspirations. It is
important to take into account everybody’s feeling and the capacity to harmonize
our proper necessities with the other’s ones. But let’s have hope and optimism,
at least as a curative factor.
Then, we will give an account of our aspirations and
• The necessity of associationism is obvious, putting the
associations into groups of federations in order to constitute a national
confederation, in which, united in one voice, we could send and demonstrate to
the leaders the respect for our legitimate rights and aspirations as a justice
• We have to make possible a comprehensive and tolerant
intergenerational culture that would improve the relations between different age
• The legislative regulation of the Labour Relations in Spain, law
intended exclusively to the active personnel, includes a banning of a possible
unconstitutionality: the one of uniting all the passive people with a syndicate.
And actually what they are doing is to separate the retired when they see that
we can affiliate ourselves to any good syndicate. Then, we are asking them to
modify this law so that the retired and pensioners could participate in the
Collective Agreement represented by their own syndicates in the subjects that
might concern them.
• We consider that retirement pensions should not be subject to the
same tribute as active work productivity, since, in reality, it is an
accumulation of income that have already been paid during all the labour
• We claim the public support for the organisms of which depend the
house and the sanitary assistance at home for the elderly living alone and who
can’t do the daily basic activities by themselves. For this reason, we are
asking for a Law of Protection of the Dependent
• We have to provide to the personnel close to retirement the
material and human resorts so they could get prepared, so that this new life
step could be pleasant and not frustrating. We have to bear in mind that the
life of these workers will be radically changed.
And nothing more. Finally, I will repeat what Balzac said: “The
best of life are its illusions”.
Former President of the Federation of Confederate Savings
Retired and Pensioners Associations