Respect For The Aged Day is a Japanese designated public holiday celebrated annually to honor elderly citizens. The holiday recognizes the contributions that elderly citizens have made to Japanese society.
I wonder how much America could learn from this tradition? In this country it seems that our elderly are not honored, but tossed aside or institutionalized where they become someone else’s problem. It’s so sad because our senior citizens have so much wisdom to offer. They’d be more than happy to share with us if we’d just ask.
Choosing to love an elderly person, whether they are family or not, is a choice. We can choose to be impatient and irritable with them, or kind and helpful. You could think of it this way… if you live long enough, you’ll eventually be elderly. How do you want to be treated? It goes back to the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:32
If there’s an elderly person in your life, take some time today to show respect for them. Here are just a few ideas:
- A phone call shows that you care. Let them know you’re thinking of them.
- Send a card that says you’re concerned about their welfare.
- Ask questions about how things were back when they were younger. They’ll be happy to share stories.
- Show appreciation for any special gifts and talents they have. Compliment the most recent project.
- Give a little present to show love and appreciation. It doesn’t have to cost a bundle, but it’ll do so much good.
- Plan a special outing if possible. There’s nothing quite like an occasion to look forward to – and dress up for. It doesn’t have to be expensive – just a nice lunch at a favorite restaurant would be nice.
- Offer a ride to an appointment or to the grocery store.
- Share your precious time with someone who is more than likely lonely and may need some human contact and conversation.
We all just want to be respected, don’t we? We would like to have our efforts and our contributions appreciated once in a while. How much more would we like all that if we were older and possibly all alone? As we age, we need even more help, but we also need common courtesy from others and wouldn’t it be great to get some respect?
Remember the old Rodney Dangerfield routine… I DON’T GET NO RESPECT – ??? Well, it’s funny as a bit, but it’s really not very funny when you don’t get respect in real life.