Every year…

in early December we organise a company outing with a difference. We close the office at noon, take the subway in the Lehel district of Munich, where we pick up some nursing home residents and take them on a trip to the Christmas market. Each of us is paired with a wheelchair user and off we go. Some of the conversations are fun, especially after the first mulled wine! There’s something special about this get together and the contrast to our daily lives. Us in the prime of life, living life to the full, always under pressure to do more, faster and better, racing to meet project deadlines compared to people nearing the end of life. Their days have taken on a kind of ‘the end is nigh’ leisurely monotony. After 90 years or more on this planet, they have little comprehension of the hubbub of our lives.

Yet there are many moments of real humanity; for example the warmth of a glance or a handshake where no words are necessary for understanding. Social involvement works both ways and opens new horizons for those at the giving and receiving ends.