Our Elders … The forerunners of our world!
Every 30th of September is celebrated as the International day for older persons with the intent to remind ourselves of the past, when our elders laid down the foundations upon which we are building the present, and also of our future when today’s youth would replace us in building upon our own legacies. The universal law of aging does not suffer anyone to challenge its inevitability and thus require us all to glimpse reflections of our own futures in the careworn but wizened visages of our elders.
The years of joys and sorrows, sufferings, and achievements, which should have made our elders cherish their old age as a golden period of rest and peace often ends up making them feel a burden upon their own children and in effect their society. For owing to the swift pace of today’s life, they either find themselves subjected to unintentional negligence, even indifference, or a loving but nonchalant courtesy which fails to make them feel valued above all others as they should be. The overwhelming engagements of our present-day commitments make us forget that though it is the government’s responsibility to come up with healthy aging policies and benefits, primarily it falls upon us to make our elderly feel an indispensable part of our lives and not a wasteful, ever-increasing burden upon us. We forget how we treat the old age of our elders today determines how those who walk in our footsteps would eventually treat us when we reach the full maturity of our years. We forget that our elders invested their lives in preparing us to face the world on our own. And today when tired and exhausted by their efforts they wish to lean on us for support, we unknowingly find ourselves distracted by our other commitments and heedless of our need by the true investors of our lives.
Old age indeed needs to be a time of rest and peace, of respite for our elders from their lifelong hard labor to secure our interests. However, rest and peace do not necessarily imply that they should not work, should they still wish to. If they are still willing to serve their societies to the best of their abilities, opportunities should be explored to let them contribute from their respective experiences and expertise. Even if there is a lack of opportunities from government or other established institutes, we can always create such opportunities. For instance, in compliance with their wishes, the elderly of the neighborhood can be gathered together and appointed as an overseeing committee to resolve the social as well as some minor economic problems of their immediate areas. Likewise, their particular expertise can also be capitalized upon to create for them other post-retirement opportunities. All that it requires is a conscientious awakening from us to the needs of our elders and by fulfilling their needs we not only strengthen our bonds but also effectively contribute to the social or societal economic progress.
In essence dear reader, let this day stand as a reminder for us to never forget that the true forerunners of our world are indeed our elders! Let us secure their interests in their age of dependency just as they spent their lives in securing our own! Let us wake up to their needs and requirements, the honor they deserve, and the demands, it is their right to be fulfilled!