Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Caring for our senior citizens

Caring for our senior citizens
By The Post
Wed 23 Jan. 2013, 14:30 CAT

THE way we are treating our old people, our senior citizens needs to improve. We need to give honour and respect to those who are old. We need to show respect for those who have lived long on the face of this earth. We need to learn to love older people. Anyone can love the young and beautiful, particularly when the hormones flow. To love an older person comes closer to true love. Of course, it is a pleasure to deal with an old person who is sweet, lovely, intelligent and self-sufficient.

Anyone can do that. It takes real character to love those who aren't lovable. So, if the person you are dealing with is an impossible old man or woman, rise to the occasion and be challenged to treat them especially well. Treat old people just like you want to be treated when you get old. Your children will treat you the way you treated your parents, and on and on it goes. If we show respect for old people, when we get in that condition, people will be more likely to show respect for us.

Visit the old people and try to alleviate their loneliness. The Bible very clearly tells us, "Honour your father and mother" (older people), which is the first commandment with promise (that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth).

This principle of honour is the major way of dealing with our senior citizens because it is the best way of dealing with older people.
We have the responsibility to ensure that older persons live and enjoy healthy lives in which they participate fully in the economic, social, cultural and political arenas of our society.

There are large numbers of healthy and willing senior citizens who can be of great service to society. Senior citizens should be treated as a community asset and their decades of work experience channelled to creating national wealth.

We have to respond to the twenty-first century challenges for the development of an inclusive society for all ages. Everyone in existence deserves honour and respect.

The value of being older and having lived long is that you have experienced the totality of the experiences that form part of a human being's journey. This includes the lessons that you have learnt based on mistakes and decisions you may have made. In this sense, part of the role of older persons in society is to share these lessons with the young and upcoming generation so that they can make better decisions and thereby contribute to building a better future for their children and future generations.

We need to treat elders with respect and dignity. It is through dignified interaction with people older than us, even if we disagree with them, that we will earn the respect of those who come after us. Mutual trust, mutual respect and reciprocity are what will build a better society for ourselves, our children and their grandchildren.

It is against this background that we discourage the abuse of older persons because they form part of the institutions of heritage from which we can learn customary and cultural practices.

The abuse of older persons must not be allowed to threaten the lives of these true beacons of hope because they still have a lot to offer the current generation, in particular young people.

We have the responsibility to treat our senior citizens with the respect and dignity they deserve. Our senior citizens have an important role to play and contribution to make in the transformation of our society to a more just, fair and humane one. There are experienced persons that can share us their knowledge and wisdom. There are people who, despite their unique views of life, have a lot to offer.

The elderly are full of wise tales and wisdom which, unluckily we are casting aside. People do not like to seek advice from older persons anymore.
There is need to treat our old people, our senior citizens with some priority. On buses, for example, they deserve to be reserved the best seats.

They also deserve priority for medical assistance. And wherever possible, they should be given discounts for medicines and food supplies. Airlines should also give them discounts and treat them as special customers.

The elderly are part of our society, and should not be disrespected or ignored to the point that they are pushed away. They should be valued and cherished for their experience and knowledge.

Sometimes we say we want to live long, but we forget that living long is growing old.

Of course, it is not always easy to deal with some old people. We shouldn't expect old people to be much different from any other age. Some old people can be very difficult; but so too are some young people. We do not believe that people change much, in other respects, by getting old.

A stubborn young person becomes a cantankerous old one. A lifetime of evil character does not suddenly become sweet and innocent with age. People can change at any age, if they want to; but they don't automatically change for the better as they grow old. Why is it that people who have been driving for many decades are often more reckless than someone who has been driving for a few weeks, months or years? Does practice make perfect? No! Practice does not make perfect, because we often practice our errors and without proper feedback, we cannot correct them.

A person who has been driving for many decades can be a bad driver if he or she continues to perpetuate bad driving practices. Just because a person has lived long, don't expect them to be a saint or perfect. Accept people, even old ones, as they are.

We are reminded in Sirach 3:10-16: "Never seek honour for yourself at your father's expense; it is not to your credit if he is dishonoured. Your own honour comes from the respect that you show your father. If children do not honour their mothers, it is their own disgrace. Son, take care of your father when he grows old; give him no cause for worry as long as he lives. Be sympathetic even if his mind fails him; don't look down on him just because you are strong and healthy.

The Lord will not forget the kindness you show to your father; it will help you make up for your sins. When you are in trouble, the Lord will remember your kindness and will help you; your sins will melt away like frost in the warm sunshine. Whoever abandons his parents or gives them cause for anger may as well be cursing the Lord; he is already under the Lord's curse."

A society that does not value its older people denies its roots and endangers its future.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home