‘Wisdom comes with age’.
In April 2015, the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company, an underground safe deposit facility in London’s Hatton Garden area, was burgled. The total stolen may have a value of up to £200 million, and the incident has been called the “largest burglary in English legal history.”
The heist was planned and carried out by four elderly men who were experienced thieves, all of whom have plead guilty. It was a vault fortified with several inches of thick reinforced concrete walls and metal bomb proof doors, a bank in which many people had deposited their millions of worth of precious items for safe keeping. What is strange about this is not the crime it self but the age of the culprits who did the crime.
The Hatton Garden raiders were dubbed “Dad’s Army” on account of their advanced age and many had extensive criminal records going back decades. The point of this article is not to bring to light the names, history or even the backgrounds of these individuals but the strange nature of the crime. The youngest member of the gang was a 48year old and the oldest being 78 known as “the master“.
Given the age of these individuals one would think they would less likely be the perpetrators of such a huge crime but as the story would later untold across TV screens across the country, these were indeed the guilty bunch. I find it amazing with their age, they are still in the mindframe of a 19 or 20 year old yob; a youngster just beginning on the career path of crime, destitution and criminal activity.
This is in short what this dunya is and what it does to those who blindly attach themselves to it day and night. It completely robs a person of his intellect and faculty to access and examine his nature and stance in life itself. Tradionally given the age of these men, people would begin to, if not already, “close up” as it were, their lives and start to look forward to what is to come next namely death. They initiate the begins of a will and what they wish each of their offspring to do with their possessions and any fortune they may have. The concept of growing wiser with age is a fast eroding concept because frankly, like the Hatton Garden raiders story highlights the ability to see the reality of life, it’s shortness and how everything is constantly is changing for the worse can only be seen by a handful of people now.
The era in which one had a wise grandmother or father to go to when in need of some beneficial life wisdom is slipping away faster than ever. Example of the above robbery is befitting here and the reason for this post it demonstrates how older generations, unlike those of the past, are still unwilling to let go of their childish immature lives, grow up and realise how they are soon to die and the life to come next is a serious issue if it has not already been taken into account. The age old adage (pun intended) ‘wisdom comes with age’ is somewhat non-existent in these times particularly in Western societies. Increasingly I have noticed this happening across all fields and with people from all backgrounds. At work I hear older generation colleagues who are near their retirement age of late 60’s talking and acting like men in their youth. For example, in Christmas parties and weekend night outs they would often talk about how they get “smatched” out of their heads from drinking all night so much so, some of them unrinate on each other. Ajeeb!
They talk about this as a trophy topic something they proudly boast about to other colleagues, ‘it was a top night out’.
Point to keep in mind is, a number of people have this notion ‘when I am old I will stop my silly immature life and grow old with grace and wisdom’ . Many Muslims the world over also have this idea that their desires and temptations of youth will wither away as soon as they grow old with age and only then will they be able to focus on the serious nature of life before they face Allah azzawajal. This is a fallacy! Whatever a person does in youth will grow old with him and this will in fact become more entrenched as a person grows older. If there is anything to take from the “Halton Garden Robbery story” is this it. It should be a story to snap a person out of the this vile mindset “I will change later but let me enjoy now” . The Hatton Garden robbers were such individuals with the same mentality, in their younger days they all had criminal backgrounds some with major criminal records compared to others. This led them to conceive the idea they can do this one last crime and see it through, but the fact facing them now is entirely different; the last year’s of their life will be spent in jail and with limited freedom. Almost a divine example of life itself in that those who think they will get away with chilling all their lives and repent later will face something completely different to what they were expecting!