“Respect your elders!”, one of the many phrases we have heard growing up. But what does this really mean? There’s no denying that we are all aging. That is one thing that we know is evident in life. We will always age. Yes, our parents and grandparents have raised us to be the strong independent beings we are right now. Is it our time to give back and take care of them?

Our parents and grandparents (for those of you who are still lucky to have both) know that they have been our first educators. Been with us since birth, they deserve some respect and being cared for. They taught us what love is, how to forgive, how to support and how to talk. In a nutshell, they are responsible for you being the decent (hopefully) human being that roams planet earth.

Elders have so much wisdom to instill upon us. Yes, you may argue that they don’t know everything and they do not agree with our opinions as they might be conservative. Sure, I agree but majority of the time they have some valuable advice for us. You don’t live on this planet for this long without picking up a few things along the way. Take the time to listen to them, they would appreciate that.

Let’s go back to the phrase “Respect your elders!”, this doesn’t mean mimic the elders and repeat the mistakes in the past. We need to respect what they have gone through, have a little listen and come up with your own conclusions with how to deal with situations. Some elders do pick up bad habits and it is okay to disagree with it.

Our elders have acquired traditional morals, values and principles and some may apply to us. Believe it or not, they also challenged the morals, values and principles of their parents. We can learn a thing or two from their values. Take their values, analyze it and make your own set of morals, values and principles. Use theirs as a foundation for basic human decency and respect.

Our elders have bend over backwards, twice to provide for us. Sure, sometimes they were tough and didn’t give us everything that we wanted. But they were fair and made do with what they had available. Something we can adapt in our own lives.

Elders carry history, legacy and heritage. That family tradition? That family heirloom? Your favourite traditional dish? All passed down from your elders. They kept it alive, kept it going for you to be a part of something greater than yourself, family.

Be that decent human being that visits the old age home. That decent human that reconnects with your parents or grandparents again, no matter the distance or struggles. For one day, sooner than you think, you too will be part of the elderly.