Staying young, wild and free is a blessing that doesn’t last forever. Growing and aging is a natural process that every individual experiences. As we grow, we encounter various negative and positive experiences that change our perception of life. Older members of a family bring wisdom, calm, dependability and unconditional love that frame the views of the broader family and shape the future of younger generations. The children of today will be the elders of tomorrow and thus their attitudes toward older people lay the ground for their future self-esteem and psychological well-being.
Our elders, parents and grandparents, sympathetic uncles and other close relatives have undoubtedly made sacrifices to ensure that we are in good hands from the moment we are born until we grow up. They show the rightful path which will lead to our success as they have much more experience of life than us. They have loved us unconditionally despite our faults and blunders. We owe it to them to ensure that they are in good hands and we reciprocate our love by caring for them or providing them with the same care they have given us.
Elderly people have always been the treasure of our families. They are the ones who preserve the traditional and cultural values present in any ethnic group or community. Elders are like the roots of the tree and hold the family firmly at all times and make them strong. They are the ideal mentors. From all the experiences they have accumulated over the years, they can judge a situation and give constructive advice to their children. They also play an important role in solving disputes among the family members and in the lives of their grandchildren. They spend time with them, play with them, and teach them important rules and values of life in the form of stories. The stories that they tell have a positive impact on the young minds of children. They also provide a safe and loving environment for children to grow in. They are a form of blessing for all of us and are the greatest treasure of the family, society, and nation. They have an immense ocean of knowledge, experience, and wisdom which serves as a guidepost for the younger generation.
Considered as the custodians of wisdom, elders in many societies enjoy considerable degree of social reverence. If a person of power exercises sound judgment, he or she relies upon the wisdom of elders to reinforce important social values or to maintain a sense of social justice. In this way, elders have long been an elemental source of social well-being. We should follow the footsteps of our wise elders, as they are a treasure of knowledge and wisdom, tested and tried since long. It not only helps in creating a better human being within themselves but also makes us more inclined towards giving back to society.
We all have much to learn from listening to our elders. When they speak, stop what you’re doing, clear your mind, listen deeply and remember what they say. In time, we will remember some of their wise words, which are likely to steer us to fruitful and healthful destinations. In times of distress, such wisdom can enhance our individual and collective well-being.
Wise elders encourage the young to not surrender their life will as they know everyone’s path is unique and everyone has a gift to uncover, develop, and share with the community. They encourage us towards love instead of fear, openness instead of bracing against change. They encourage us to work through our fears. They provide an embrace of support to the young and also a push to not be afraid to self-actualise. They are wise because they have been able to connect the dots in their lives and learn from all their life experiences. They are self-aware and able to self-correct. They also have spent some quality time considering their mortality. They silently worry about their future and often worry about their children and other loved ones.
Our elders have come so far and they’ve learned so much, we have a responsibility to learn from that wisdom. Our elders have either acquired, created or have been brought up with a set of morals, values and/or principles in their life. They may not apply to our own but the least we can do is see how those values impacted their lives. We can learn a thing or two from adopting those values. Learn the right and wrong. Have the insight into a set of rules that we can outline for ourselves to follow and live by. Our elders would want the best for us and they would be more than willing to tell us what set of rules and guidelines have made them successful and hopefully, peaceful.
“Listen to your elder’s advice. Not because they are always right but because they have more experiences of being wrong.” – Melchor Lim
The writer is a regular contributor for this newspaper. He can be reached at specialachivers78[email protected]