RESPECT FOR THE AGED DAY

TL 9-19 RESPECT FOR THE AGED DAYRespect 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.

WEAK MEMORY, STRONG HEART

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.i-must-take-time

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.  :-/

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (14)I was sitting in the waiting room at my doctor’s office the other day.  A million thoughts ran through my mind because it was so quiet except for the sound of a bubbling fish aquarium.  I don’t have a cell phone and I won’t touch a magazine in a waiting room because I don’t want to pick up germs.  Think of it logically…  who goes to the doctor?  People who are sick go to the doctor.  If they read the magazines in the waiting room and leave germs on them.  It’s cold and flu season…  ’tis the season…  fa la la…  need I say more?

So I watched the fish swimming around with not a care in the world.  I observed a mother with her small child, an elderly man struggling to walk with a cane, a young woman with her nose stuck in a book she brought with her and a teen scrolling through his phone.  I see that a lot in waiting rooms – tweens and teens with their phones.

There were no pleasantries exchanged among us.  Have you ever felt lonely in public?  It’s a strange sensation that makes you feel as though you’re almost invisible.  You know you’re physically in the room, but when you receive no smiles, no nods, no acknowledgement whatsoever, it’s as though you don’t exist.  Everyone is so busy with their own task at hand – interacting with a child, moving from point A to point B with a cane, reading or texting on a phone.

Have you ever wondered if you’ve exceeded your SELL BY date???  I mean, really – when we’re children we have such promise and we’re blessed with great eyesight and quick, rhythmic fingers and we set the world on fire.  Suddenly, we are two beats behind and wondering what the heck happened!!!

Is there a place for me in life?  Would anyone notice if I was not here?  Do I have anything to contribute to society that makes a difference to anyone?  These are not questions of self-pity or self-loathing, but questions from a heart that desires a sense of purpose.

There is a special place in life that needs my humble skill,

A certain job I’m meant to do which no one else can fulfill.

The time will be demanding, and the pay is not too good.

And yet I wouldn’t change it for a moment – even if I could!

There is a special place in life, a goal I must attain,

A dream that I must follow because I won’t be back again.

There is a mark that I must leave, however small it seems to be.

A legacy of love for those who follow after me.

There is a special place in life that only I may share,

A little path that bears my name, awaiting me somewhere.

There is a hand that I must hold, a word that I must say.

A smile that I must give for there are tears to blow away.

There is a special place in life that I was meant to fill.

A sunny spot where flowers grow upon a windy hill.

There’s always a tomorrow and the best is yet to be,

And somewhere in this world, I know there is a place for me.

It seems the older I get, the less useful I become.  Some of it is by choice, I admit.  I keep remembering when I was twelve years old – how everyone encouraged me to play the piano in church.  The church encourages the youth to serve and make the older people feel unnecessary in service.  I don’t understand.  Do we not need to feel useful as we age?  Do we not need to be encouraged to be a part and serve?  I keep hearing that there is not a retirement age in church service.  Talk is cheap.  It sounds like lip service.

Young people are encouraged and old people are forgotten…  left sitting at the sidelines as though they are no longer useful.  My fingers are arthritic and my eyes can’t tell a natural sign from a sharp anymore, but it’s my prayer that God will find something for me to do for Him.  For now He seems to want me to write.  I will do what I’m able to do.  I will continue to write until He tells me to stop.

Of course, I can pray – I will always pray.  If I can’t be on the front lines anymore, I can sit on the sidelines and watch…  and pray! 

God has a wonderful plan for your life – and mine.  May we seek His will and way this year!  🙂

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDDo you have a neighbor that doesn’t receive many visitors this time of year?  Loneliness is at epidemic proportions during the Christmas season.  It’s sad that some folks are overly busy while others are just seemingly forgotten.  😦

Most of our neighbors are surrounded by family – and often!  Our little circle drive is crammed full of cars almost every weekend – and that is a good thing!  We see the signs of life all around us in our neighborhood – everyone is alive and well around here.

But I have to ask myself – who is my neighbor?  Is it just the family on my immediate block?  We all know the answer to that question – of course it isn’t.  Our neighbors are everyone around us.  There is a senior living complex less than five miles from my house and it’s fun to go there to sing Christmas Carols.  Seniors are often alone and it means so much to them to be remembered.

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As we prepare our hearts and minds for the birthday of Christ, we will obviously remember the youth in our lives with gifts and good deeds.  Shouldn’t we also remember the aged among us just as much?  Yes, Christmas is for children – but it’s also for the elderly.  It’s for everyone!

A CHRISTMAS EMBRACERemember the story of Simeon?  All he wanted to do was see the world’s Salvation before he died.  He got to hold the Christ Child – and he said that he saw Him and could die in peace.  Let’s show the seniors around us the ways of Christ – His joy, love, mercy and peace.  Let’s show them the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  – Galatians 5:22-23

As we prepare our hearts and minds for the birthday of Christ the King, let’s include all of our neighbors of every stage of life in our celebration.  God loves us all so very much – that’s why Christ was born!  🙂