Respecting our elders

I often wonder why we should respect our elders? How are they any different from me or you? Are we not equals, irrespective of age or achievements? Well to get the answer, first we have to understand the world we live in. A lot of what we do in this world is purely on personal merit. How I drive. What I write. How I make a livelihood. But, don’t you think, a part of the credit goes to our elders too?

Let me explain. I drive a car brilliantly. But aren’t the people, who lived before me, responsible for making that road? I am great at running a business. But haven’t my elders contributed towards building the country’s infrastructure which enables that business? I am a great writer. But ain’t my elders, who have written before me, responsible for where I stand now. Are we all not standing on shoulder of giants? Well, generally speaking.

This divergence from individualism is the reason, I believe our elders should get their due respect. Government has already done enough to pay heed to them. In most government offices these days, senior citizens are provided with special counters. They are also allowed to not follow the queues and simply walk in and get their work done. But I often wonder how many of us, the general public, really approve of this? When will we start respecting our elders?

In fact, this general feeling is so strong that many senior citizens prefer waiting in the general line than use the facilities provided to them. We may be repelled by the accusations, but think it over, how many of us, really offer our seats to senior citizens in crowded buses? When an elderly man of lady crosses a road, how many of us slow down or stop for them, notwithstanding that the person is old and infirm, in the mad rush to gain time?

Same is the case indoors as well. With the rise of working couples, over the years, the advent of nuclear families is on the rise. These couples even justify their inability to take care of their parents by claiming that they have no time for each other or their kids either. Well, our parents never complained of this. They took care of us unconditionally. Can we stand the same behaviour from our kids when we grow old? We desperately need a change in the attitude towards aged persons who need no sympathy but respect and consideration.

I am not claiming that growing old makes a person better. Age selectively pics some dominant traits in you and enhances them. I humble person becomes humbler with age. A crooked person gets even more crooked as he grows old. But, generally speaking, isn’t society all about caring for each other? Ensuring people take care of each other. Why should the young and middle aged, then not take care of the children and elderlies?

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