Should Elderly Be Shown Respect?

October 13, 2011
More by this author
Respecting the Elderly
My sister and I once remarked at how fascinating it is to talk to the older members of our family, or to older people in general. We said that older people have seen so many things. They have gone through maybe two world wars, other wars, the Great Depression, the invention of the automotive and the first commercial planes, the highways and railroads, new cars, new technologies, the computers of our time, the manual computers of olden times. Fashion has changed so much and other clothes they wore before have come full circle and have made a comeback. It was concerning to us that there was a possibility that when the younger generation asks us about what we saw during our time when we were younger, the only things we would be able to come up with would be a series of iPhones and iPads. I believe it is very important to respect elderly, even if some may be cranky. They have been through so much more than everyone else and they have so much knowledge to share with the world. They know more than any other younger generation and their wisdom is great.

Our elderly have seen quite a lot, and for most of them, they like to show us what they saw and what they’ve learned through the many years of their lives. We, the younger generation, have often times been guilty of turning our ears off because we hear the same stories over and over again. We think we can’t stand to listen to another story about how they survived the war years. We don’t want to listen to how they used to do things when they were younger. How little they had, how much harder they had to work. I, on the other hand, liked hearing many stories from those who are older. I like to listen to stories about the time that was different from ours now. They made do with what they had, and they didn’t really have much. I guess they were happy, because they remember them and eventually they used to tell me those times, lean as they were, were the best of times.
There is an advantage to hearing those stories over and over again. Later on, they begin to be a part of our lives as well. Like those stories of our childhood. We get the lessons learned and the values they would like to impart to us as we hear those stories repeated again and again, over and over. Notice that they tell us those stories with the same excitement, the same enthusiasm. Have you, on the other hand, noticed the disappointment in their faces when you seem to lack the same enthusiasm they have?
As a kid, I always grew up far far far away from my grandparents. They lived half way across the world and didn’t always have the money to come and visit, and vise versa. When I visited the Philippines when I was eight years old, my grandfather would always tell me stories about the wars in the Philippines and how he grew up as a kid. It always fascinated me the hard work and dedication my grandparents put into their lives while growing up. They taught me life lessons by just telling me a simple little story about when they were younger. They knew how much I enjoyed listening to their stories, because I knew, it would one day help with my life.
Through such stories, my grandparents, grand aunts and uncles, my family friends, teachers, or even the casual acquaintance we see every now and then, impart their wisdom to me. They impart to me their observations, and the lessons they have learned. When they tell me their stories, they share their perception of that moment that they had in time. They share that moment with me.
I therefore believe in the wisdom from the elderly. I believe that through their many experiences, they have gained wisdom and knowledge that they may choose to impart to me. I believe that the elderly have a voice that more than anyone deserves to be heard. They are to be heard because they have witnessed events we shall never witness again, and which we may have taken for granted. There is wisdom in experience for those who choose to recognize the moment. Often, it takes older people who tell us to slow down and appreciate the times we live in, learn from our experiences. When we remember this, we understand the wisdom in their words.

I look up to the elderly with their beliefs, their experiences, and their unique front seat as they witness history. More importantly, I believe that because of their wisdom, the elderly deserve our respect. They have lives through times that we cannot imagine living in. They have witnessed things we shall never see. These experiences, their struggles, their triumphs, should remind us that they deserve respect from us who have seen less, who have lived through less. I believe that in respecting the, that is the best way we could thank them for their contributions to the better world we live in now.

Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback