I would like to welcome Sean Curtain to the LifeAgain Team. You can read about Sean’s story here. Sean is the first of what I hope will be a number of guest bloggers/contributors to LifeAgain. Sean sees life as an opportunity to express his feelings on matters that matter to men, and he starts today with his first blog for LifeAgain.
It is a beautiful feature of the Australian indigenous community, as well as various Asian and European cultures, that the elderly and aged are valued and respected.
Part of the welcome speech made at many Australian events that recognise traditional owners of the land, includes a reference to paying tribute to elders past and present.
However, there are sadly numerous examples within the Anglo Saxon community, at least in Australia, where the role and place of the elder isn’t valued as much as it could, or should be.
Some cultures overseas have a greater appreciation of the role the elderly played in the development, growth or protection of that country. Some simply see that a long life is a collection of many lessons and experiences that it would be wise to listen to and learn from.
In the last few weeks, I have been lucky enough to witness two examples of a young person (a 12 year old), asking for help in a particular field from a two much older people.
In both situations, as well as being a lovely exchange of knowledge to witness, both parties benefitted from it in many ways. Both the information being received was respected as well as the request itself being appreciated.
There’s a view that the world is changing so fast and so often, that older people couldn’t possibly have anything to add, or that their views are out of date.
I prefer to think of the maxim that if you ignore history, you will be doomed to repeat it. There’s an enormous amount to be learned from the cultures that value and treat their older population well and with respect.
None of us are experts and all of us could learn something from someone else. As a community, there’s just as much reason, maybe more, to learn from someone older, wiser and with a lifetime of experiences behind them.
If you are still lucky enough to have an older relative, such as a father, grandfather or uncle, take the time to talk and include them in your life. Yes, you’ll get a different perspective and one you may not always agree with, but that’s the value of sharing across the generations, both young and old. Including the elder (not the elderly) is a way to expand your understanding of many things.