Tuesday, September 16, 2014
honor the elderly
to honor the elderly -- "part of his long-standing belief that old people shouldn't be shut away in retirement homes but should be cherished for their wisdom and experience."
Surely there are cultures that honestly do honor their elderly, but it certainly is not the custom in a lot of western societies. So, while the elderly may take some solace from the pope's suggestion, still there is the invariable return to the same ol' same ol' ... lonely, weakened, ignored, victims of a younger society, etc.
Around here, one of the things that crosses my mind is that the cherishing of wisdom and experience needs to find its own roots -- within the elderly person who might otherwise feel ignored and cast aside.
This is no small requirement, but I simply do not see another way for such cherishing and wisdom to take credible root. Relying on others for such cherishing is like waiting for the sun to rise in the West.
It is possible to shame others into better behavior, but as a long-term strategy, this technique is bound to lose traction.