Why You Should be Respecting the Elderly

Profile photo of Harleena Singh - | 91 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Family & Parenting

A woman respecting the elderly lady by hugging

I was always taught to respect the elders – weren’t you?

But how many of you are really respecting the elderly people around you? What reasons do you have for not doing so?

I ask you because I’ve often seen many elders in the society not being treated well.

I’ve even heard of people not respecting the elderly – especially the young generation nowadays.

And that’s not all; even family members sometimes fail to spend family time with them, which saddens my heart.

I strongly feel that respect towards the elderly, their fortitude, wisdom, knowledge, and grace should be imbibed by us, though sadly it doesn’t happen.

There might be a few exceptions as I also don’t believe that growing old is a sign becoming wiser, but we shouldn’t show disrespect for seniors in any case – isn’t it?

If you come across an elder whom you don’t know, and if he/she isn’t able to prove his/her worth to you – it doesn’t mean that he/she doesn’t deserve your respect.

You need to assess the situation and understand the concept of respect and it’s relation to the elderly.

“We were taught to respect everyone, especially those who were older and wiser than we were from whom we could learn.” ~ BeNeca Ward

Meaning of Respecting the Elderly

Respect is the basic component of all cordial relations. If you understand the meaning of disrespect, you’d be able to understand respect better.

Disrespect is the denial of approval or recognition of another person. Many people don’t value the elders and treat them as worthless. But who’re these elders that we talk about?

An elder is someone who has retired and is usually over the age of sixty-five years, though this age may vary because different countries may have their own official age for retirement.

Showing respect to the elder’s means to be kind and considerate towards them and hearing them out, even if you really don’t agree with them.

It’s simply one human showing respect to another, irrespective of their age. But are you doing that? I know many of you do, but I’d like you to create awareness for those who don’t.

“Respect is what we owe; love, what we give.” ~ Philip James Bailey

Children respecting the elderly in the family

How is the State of Elders in Today’s World

Things are fast changing nowadays, and elders or grandparents don’t have much of a role in the family any longer. There is no one to listen to them, nor do their own children live near them.

Respect towards elders is fast declining in the society, and it’s sad but true that in many families they’re treated more like old furniture than part of a family.

Or else they are placed in old homes or nursing homes where they spend the rest of their life – lonely and forgotten.

However, it’s a different case if that’s done due to some medical condition that requires regular observation and treatment.

Personally, I still feel that even in such a case arrangements can be made at home so that elders don’t have to stay in such old age homes. No one likes to be at such a place, would you?

But there are some cultures and places around the world where the elderly are still treated with respect.

In these countries and cultures the elders still hold the important position as the head of the family, share their wisdom, guide the youngsters, and pave the way for generations to come.

Speaking of which, the elder’s in my family play a major role in my life. Their love and concern for me and my family is foremost in their mind. Similarly, all of us also have a very high regard for them and all that they do for us.

Why Respecting the Elderly Is Important

The elders need to be honored and respected for all that they’ve done for you and for the society in general.

Gratitude comes in many forms, and you can express it by way of love, kindness, and simply by respecting them – isn’t it?

The elderly were once young and strong. They worked hard to make a living and gave the best years of their lives to raise their children, by caring, protecting, and nurturing them.

Not to mention their contribution to the society, and how they worked hard so that the place or organization that they worked for, prospered.

Also, many of them fought for their country so that we might live. Their sacrifices cannot be forgotten.

I also need to mention that elders in the family have faced many challenges and raised grandchildren when their own children haven’t been around, which is all the more reason for respecting the elderly.

But now that they are in the golden years of their lives, isn’t it time that their children and society gives back to them a little of what all they did for us?

How can you do that, you might ask? Well, begin by just respecting the elderly for starters!

Elderly people need to be respected and it’s one way of making them feel special.

Just notice the way how their faces brighten up and their morale boosts up, when you respect them, listen to them, and express your love and kindness towards them.

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” ~ Bryant H. McGill

It doesn’t cost you anything when you show respect towards elders, but see the pleasure it gives them. In return, you also feel happy by giving them happiness in their live.

Often times, senior citizens are treated with less respect and discriminated due to their age, appearance, race, gender, disability, and income. This may even lead to depression in the elderly.

Respecting the elderly doesn’t mean just to limit it to love and kindness.

Instead, it is also about getting them involved in things that they’re capable of doing. This makes them feel respected that their contribution is valued.

An elderly woman looking for love and respect

Ways of Respecting the Elderly

There are many ways you can respect the elders in your life, but I’ll just mention a few of them here. You could always add more ways to showing respect towards elders.

  • Offer an elderly person your chair or seat if you see them standing while you are sitting.
  • Never talk disrespectfully to an elder. Talk directly to them, not around or about them.
  • Try to avoid arguing and quarreling with an elder.
  • When an elder is speaking, everyone else should remain silent and listen.
  • Seek the blessings of your elders before you start on anything new. Things like when you’re going to give an examination, interview, or getting married.
  • If an elderly person asks you something, or asks you to do something – answer to them, and do it happily.
  • If you see an elderly person not able to manage on their own in the street or market area, or anywhere – accompany them till they permit you to leave.
  • Don’t shout at an elder assuming that he/she is deaf or hard of hearing. Being old doesn’t mean they can’t hear. Similarly, if an elder has hearing problems, be considerate and gentle in talking.
  • While driving an elder, offer them the front seat or ask them where they’d like to sit first. Also, help them get in and out of the vehicle.
  • Always open the door for an elder and hold it till they pass through before closing it.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking in front of elders.
  • Seek the advice of your elders when you make important decisions of your life.
  • Take care of the elderly and avoid sending them to a nursing or old age home.
  • While talking to elderly people, find out their interests, get involved in talking to them, and show your interests in their talks. It makes them feel good that despite the age difference they share similar interests, even if you don’t.  Moreover, you never stop learning from them too.
  • Be patient and tolerant with elders. Chances are that as they age, they may become a little difficult to be around because they’re frustrated being dependent on others.
  • Remain compassionate and polite even if your attempts to engage with elders are met with anger, gruffness, or annoyance. Perhaps there are years of pain, frustration, and intolerance at the society or people that they use as a means to cope and protect themselves.
  • As they age, elderly people tend to repeat things. Be kind enough and hear them out.
  • If you see elders carrying groceries, offer to carry it instead. Or if they are sick, take care of them without feeling bad about doing so.
  • Don’t think that the elderly are worthless because they no longer have jobs. Instead, think of how much you can gain from their years of experience and wisdom. Also, how they contribute to a household and some grandparents even take care of their grandchildren.
  • Visit the elders in your family if they are living far, or spend time with them if they are nearby. It’s a great way of respecting the elderly in your family and making them feel loved and cared for.

Different cultures would have different ways of respecting the elderly, so a lot depends on how and what works your end.

Like in some cultures the young ones let the elders have food before them, stand up when any elder comes in the room, and don’t refer to them directly by their name.

However, in general the above mentioned ways to respect the elders are the very basic that may be working all over – aren’t they?

I would like you to read my post on how you can take care of elders >> 14 Ways to take Care of Elderly People, and I hope you like it too 🙂

“Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.” ~ Laurence Sterne

Remember, what goes around, comes around. It’s the basic law of nature and karma.

So, when you instill gratitude, compassion and respect for the elderly in your kids, they too will treat you with love and similar feelings when you are old.

You as parents and caretakers are the role models for your children. If they hear you speak rudely to your elders or not show respect towards elders, there’s no way they will show respect to you or them.

Treating your elders with respect is a privilege, not a chore. Hug and kiss them more often, and let them know how much you appreciate and love them.

Remember, it’s not long before you too will become an elder and be in the same place as them. So, by respecting the elderly you’re only showing you care and understand their feelings.

“I could never love where I could not respect.” ~ Charlotte Elizabeth Aisse

Never forget how you will like to be treated, and treat the elderly people the same way. If you haven’t been respecting the elderly so far, it’s never too late to begin.

Any day is a new day to start 🙂

Over to you

Do you feel the elders in your society are really respected and treated the way they should be? If you have elders in your family, how do you show respect towards them? What do you do for respecting the elderly around you? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Photo Credit: DrStarbuck, 123RF Stock Photos,  DVIDSHUB



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91 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Oluwaseun Babajide

    May 14, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Age = Wisdom. I always respect elders the same way I respect anyone, they are human beings! We all need to be treated with respect and dignity. When am on the bus, train or anywhere, I always give seat for anyone who seems to need it more than I.

    I was having this same conversation with a friend a while ago and he said people do not deserve respect on the basis of age. I disagree with this. What’s your take on this?

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 14, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      Hi Seun,

      I couldn’t agree more with you there 🙂

      Yes indeed, each one of us needs to be respected, whether we are old or young. I just wish more people would realize and understand this simple fact. It’s the small things that matter. Something you feel hardly matters might make a lot of difference to an elderly person. I just listed a few ways of respecting the elderly in the post, though I know a lot more can be added in there.

      Offering to help a senior, giving up your seat, opening the door and all such things are basic etiquette’s that each one of us must follow. Yes, some people have such thoughts and they might be having their reasons for feeling the way they do. Age does matter for the simple reason that they have more experience and have seen more years than us – they have more wisdom than us, so at least honor that if nothing else. I strongly feel, that even if it’s an unknown person, especially an elder – there’s just no question of not respecting them. And what does it cost you? Not much – then why have second thoughts about it?

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us. 🙂

      • Jacob Eagleshield

        October 18, 2014 at 10:29 pm

        First of all,respect,like trust,has to be earned. You don’t demand it. Second,if parents show no respect for their elders,you can’t expect much different from their kids. If you give it,you will receive it. Yes,our elders have earned it,simply because they have lived longer,and have learned and experienced more.That SHOULD be enough. You call an elderly man “Sir” not “yo old dude” You call an older woman Ma’am or mrs so and so. No first names without permission.KIds,you are NOT entitled to respect. YOU MUST EARN IT by example and action.

    • Martin Rice

      November 23, 2013 at 3:27 am

      I think I agree with your friend. Age alone is no reason to respect a person. (I’m 75, not some young guy who has no time for older people.)

      A diehard racist or child abuser or wife beater at 80, for example, is no more deserving of respect than he was at 35.

      • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

        Harleena Singh

        November 23, 2013 at 8:38 am

        Welcome to the blog Martin!

        I know this comment was addressed to Seun, but till he replies, I just thought to welcome you to my blog, and I do agree with you – age alone is no reason to respect a person, but we do that, especially in our culture at least.

        Yes, if such a person is a child abuser or wife beater, he is far from being respected, though such people also mellow down and change once they age, and if they do, we can respect them for that. I guess it all depends on who the person is, isn’t it?

        Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us 🙂

  2. Babanature

    May 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Hello Harleena,

    If you don’t have the proper home training, it will be impossible to respect your elders. Back here in Nigeria, the basic training we get from our parent is respect your elders. Yes! anybody that is older then you must be respected, so in that manner people respects all elders.

    The three things we don’t joke with, is parents and elderly people because they have blessing and wisdom. And to be honest their prayer seems to work like charm 😀
    Thanks for this wonderful post my friend 🙂

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 14, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      Hi Babanature,

      Absolutely! It’s rightfully said – start them young. And only when parents instill these qualities of respecting the elders will the children carry it forward.

      Just as it’s in your country, the very same values are instilled in our country too. Anyone older than you is to be respected – period. There is no question of not respecting the elderly, whether you know them or not. It’s just a way of honoring them for being elder.

      Ah…yes – no jokes 🙂 But yes, we can share a few jokes, sit and chat with them, and talk, share and listen to them our end. However, there are areas in our country too where the distances are maintained. I agree with that – their prayers DO work, whether we believe it or not. I hope and pray more people would start valuing their elders.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us 🙂

      • Suzie Carr

        May 14, 2013 at 7:21 pm

        Hi Harlenna, Great post.

        Actually made me tear up a little reading it. I have a ninety-seven year old grandfather who lives in a different state than me, and it breaks my heart that I can’t visit with him more often than I do. He is filled with love and gratitude for his life and whenever we do visit, he lights up like a child. He loves to tell stories and is so animated when he does. I could sit and listen to him for hours. He is in a nursing home now and I visited him 2 weeks ago. He lives for visits. He lives to talk. He lives to tell his stories. He holds so much value. He has so much to teach. He is a man of great character and is fortunate to be surrounded by so many who love and respect him. In my next novel that I’m releasing next month, he is a main character. I intertwined much of his life into the lessons of this story. The comforting factor for me is that his rich, colorful life will live on and hopefully touch others.

        I always try to encourage people to sit and listen to an elderly person speak. Turn off the television and let them entertain you. Guaranteed, what comes out of their heart will be far more satisfying and enriching than what is displayed on that television set:)

        • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

          Harleena Singh

          May 15, 2013 at 8:07 am

          Hi Suzie – nice to have you back 🙂

          Glad you liked the post, and sorry for the tears. I guess respecting the elderly is something everyone needs to do – isn’t it?

          It’s so nice to know more about your Grandfather, and I can just about imagine his happiness when he see all of you. Yes – he lives for all of you in short I would say. But one question that bothers me is why is he in a nursing home? He is well and happy as you mentioned, and you all also love and care for him. Or is it out of his choice he wants to be there, or perhaps some health, or other reason.

          Your book would surely be something worth reading as your Grandfather’s lessons and his many years of experience and wisdom would be part of it. I’m sure it’s going to be a moving novel that will touch many hearts.

          I agree with you there. When you listen to an elderly, or anyone for that matter, be fully present and with them. Close all your distractions and just make them feel valued and cared for. Oh yes…the lessons they teach us are far more precious than we see on our television sets 🙂

          Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us. Bless your Grandfather 🙂

          • Suzie Carr

            May 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm

            Hi Harleena,

            Thanks and it’s great to be back!

            To answer your question, he’s in a nursing home because he’s not able to live on his own anymore. His spirit is there, but afraid his physicality not so much. He can’t bathe or dress himself anymore and he needs 24 hour medical care. It was a heart-wrenching decision for my mother to make. She wants him to be as safe and well-cared for as possible. And, thankfully, he is in a beautiful home surrounded by gardens and greenery and a dynamic caregiving staff.

            Thank you again for the lovely post and reply:)

            • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

              Harleena Singh

              May 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm

              Nice to have you back too Suzie 🙂

              That’s sad indeed. Yes, sometimes the health conditions don’t allow our elders to stay alone on their own and as you mentioned, your grandfather needs constant help and support. What might work could be getting a full time nurse or caretaker who looks after him at home, though that might have to be at your Mom’s place perhaps. However, I think if you’ve all seen the home and keep visiting him often, and he is happy where he is, it might be the best decision. It would certainly break my heart I know for sure…

              You are most welcome, and thanks for replying back and letting me know too 🙂

  3. Evan

    May 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    I always respect elders because I truly believe in balance, if I respect them now someone will respect me when I’m old. Actually this my balance theory is pretty wise))) So elderly is one of the main parts of it.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 15, 2013 at 8:15 am

      Hi Evan,

      Nice to know that, and am glad you respect your elders 🙂

      Ah…balance! That’s another way of taking it, though I’d do it anyways, even if no one respect me when I grow old. I do believe in doing your deeds without thinking of the outcome – do it just because it should be done or you want to do it, without thinking how it would help you later or how you’d be benefited from it (just my feelings).

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  4. bonnie squires

    May 14, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Good morning,

    My mom taught me at a young age to respect older people. She told me doesn’t matter if they are 1 yr older than you to respect them. Our children have made friends with a couple across the street from us and they now call them grandma and grandpa and ever day after school they go see them. Our kids have shared special moments with them like mom. They have help shovel snow and brought thing in for them.

    They went away for mom’s day and they are telling our kids all about there trip. Its wonderful to see this bond happen with them.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 15, 2013 at 8:55 am

      Welcome to the blog Bonnie!

      So did mine. 🙂

      I guess our times were so much different, and so were we as compared to the generation nowadays – isn’t it?

      Nice to know more about your kid’s and how they’ve started caring for the old couple across the road. Perhaps they see their own grandparents in them, and kids just love to be loved and pampered too, which I’m sure even the couple would be doing. Sweet of them to be of help to the couple too.

      Yes indeed, it sure is nice to see this bond of love happen with them and hope it remains too. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us 🙂

  5. Barry Wells

    May 14, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Great topic! I was always brought up to respect my elders and in doing so I’ve passed that onto my children.

    When I was a kid my mum would get me to visit some elderly people and enquire if they needed anything fetching from the shops. They always appreciated it and it was plain to see how much.

    I’ve always respected my mum but when she needed caring for I wasn’t able to due to my own disability and unfortunately she had to go into a care home. If I could have taken care of her I would have, but even though she was in care home I still done all I could to assist her.

    Unfortunately today we see items on the news where an elderly person has been attacked, often for just a few pennies or pounds. Personally when these people come to court i would make an example of them and give them double the sentence normally handed out.

    All to often “some” of the youth have no understanding of the elderly and think they’re there for the youth’s entertainment. This sickens me and if ever I see it I step forward and do my bit, often asking how they’d feel if it was their grandparents getting disrespected?

    Unfortunately many of our youth’s lack the discipline that earlier generations had installed in them. We only need to look around at those sat on their butts with their hands out for confirmation of this.

    One of my great pleasures is sitting and listen to the elderly, their stories are often way beyond our comprehension.

    Thanks for highlighting this topic Harleena. I just wish I could grab some of the vermin and make then read and understand your post.

    Respect and regards,
    Barry

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 15, 2013 at 9:33 am

      Hi Barry,

      Yes indeed, just as I was mentioning in the comments above, in our days we were always taught to respect our elders – no matter what or who they were. And this we did pass down to our kids too. However, things aren’t really the same any longer, which is the sad part of it all – isn’t it?

      It’s nice to know that your Mom taught you to help the elderly around. We were also taught that in our school when we were taken to old age homes and each one of us were assigned an elder we had to take care of, which we did in our best way for the whole year. I guess it all started from home and school for me. 🙂

      I can understand your feelings and the reason for your mom to be in the care home, and none of that is your fault in any ways – just the circumstances are such and that your mom would understand too.

      I agree with your there, such people shouldn’t be set free. We have a lot of cases in our country too, and they do such acts just because the elderly are weaker than them, in most of the cases, or they are ailing.

      I’ve heard and seen a lot of people mistreat or call their elders name too, and yes, whenever possible, we all need to step forward and play our part in making the generation nowadays realize their mistake.

      Our times were different, and what our parents taught us is rooted deep within, and same should be with our kids too, at least we hope it is. But how much of what we teach our kids stays with them also depends on how receptive they are to understand what we are trying to tell them – isn’t it? Perhaps these youngsters have been taught the ways of respecting the elderly, but they just don’t want or wish to do so, or prefer making fun of it all as it doesn’t concern them. All of this is rather sad, and needs to be changed.

      Oh yes…one can really get lost listening to our elders and their life’s experiences and their stories too. My kids love listening to the stories my Dad used to tell me! And even though we’ve heard most of them before, it always feels like we’re hearing them for the first time 🙂

      Yes indeed, that IS the main purpose of this post – to create a little awareness and understanding in the generation nowadays to be more loving, kind, and respectful towards the elderly.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post. Respect and regards, indeed 🙂

      • Barry Wells

        May 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm

        What a fantastic idea…. local schools sending Kids into care homes to look after an elderly person. Maybe if that was implemented over here we’d see some improvement.

        Excellent idea, but we’d also need to take some of the parents in to do the same so they can install the discipline needed to continue that throughout their lives… Until they themselves become old and frail.

        Great topic Harleena 🙂

        • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

          Harleena Singh

          May 15, 2013 at 5:15 pm

          It sure is Barry 🙂

          The best part is we were even given grades based on how well we looked after each elder assigned to us, so that kept us motivated and inspired to do our best for them. Being kids it’s not easy to get things done, but this way it sure was, and I have some lovely memories of those times with me. Not to mention, that all of these elderly were unknown people, and some weren’t even in good health conditions.

          I do wish more schools would implement this idea, and if the parents go along too, it would certainly help the child as they see and do by role modelling their parents in most cases.

          Thanks once again for your feedback on this 🙂

  6. Theodore Nwangene

    May 14, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    This is a very wonderful post that i think everyone suppose to read. Elders are very important in a family and society as a whole. There is a saying that What an elder sees seating down, that you cannot see it even if you climb the tallest tree in the world and i really agree to that.

    One thing I’ve never and will never do in my life is seating down while an elder is standing beside me, unless i didn’t notice. We must be cognizant of the fact that, if we accord the elders the respect that is due to them, that our younger ones will one day accord us same respect when we also grow old because must one day be an elder too if God pleases.

    This should also go to our readers. I don’t know of other countries but, in the country i come from, the government are fund of depriving the elders their pensions after retirement and this often lead to an untimely death of the elder because he don’t have anything to leave up to again

    These are people that has worked the whole of their lives for you and they are supposed to be taken care of when they are no longer capable.

    This is also one reason i hate being a civil servant or an employee of any kind.

    Thanks for sharing Leena, really informative :).

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 15, 2013 at 11:31 am

      Hi Theodore,

      Glad you liked the post, and I do hope people read and realize the importance of respecting the elderly through it too 🙂

      Ah…that’s a lovely saying and thanks for sharing it here with us. Yes, it’s so very true as well.

      I agree with you there, and I fail to understand how can people keep sitting when an elder is standing. This is such a basic thing we were taught as kids, and now it’s become such a habit that if I see an elder, I promptly get up as a mark of respect.

      Oh yes…our time will come and there is no escaping that. Just realizing this simple fact and placing yourself in the shoes of the elderly should make you respect them – isn’t it?

      Sorry to hear about the way the government is at your end, and I hope things get better and even if they can fund them a little, it might help those who have nothing else to fall back on. At our end the case is better I’d say, as they do pay them their pension, though it might not be quite a lot, but it suffices I guess.

      That’s the whole point – our elders have worked all through their lives, whether it was the time spent in raising us, or looking after their country, or working for any organization and business. How can we not honor and respect them in the tail end of their years, especially when they aren’t all that capable and strong as before?

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing your thoughts 🙂

  7. Sue Neal

    May 14, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    This is a post close to my heart as I’ve spent most of my career working with older people suffering from mental health problems.

    Here in the UK, the elderly are often treated very badly, particularly those who end up consigned to a life in a care home. We’ve had some distressing scandals of abuse and mistreatment in those kind of institutions. There’s also some evidence that people may be denied some healthcare treatments on the basis of their age, though in theory that’s not supposed to happen.

    It seems our society is very much biased towards the young – though teenagers can get a raw deal, too, with people sometimes assuming that they’re all a bad lot, when the vast majority are perfectly decent young people. Similarly, I think people are often prejudiced towards the elderly and make assumptions about them that have no basis in fact.

    I think we should treat people of any age with the respect that’s due to them and shouldn’t discriminate on the basis of age. One of the best things you can do for an older person is to listen to them and talk to them just as you would a younger person – older people rarely think of themselves as ‘old’ and hate to be categorized as such. In my experience, they just want to be treated as valued human beings.

    A lovely post on another important issue, Harleena – thanks 🙂

    Sue

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      Hi Sue,

      Nice to know that you could resonate with the post 🙂

      I can well understand what you mean here, and it’s quite sad to even read about it as I read a few cases online about how the elders are mistreated in such care homes. How horrible that at their age they are even denied treatment – where would they go and whom would they ask for help?

      Yes, I also feel that ways, or perhaps it’s the age of the young as they say, who fail to realize that one day they too are going to become old. But as you mentioned, most of them are decent and respectful enough towards the elderly and only a few who need to realize all of this.

      Absolutely! Respect one and all, irrespective of their age, and while this is mostly followed, it’s the elderly lots who are often neglected and not shown their due respect.

      Talking and listening makes a world of a difference to an elder. That’s because in this phase of their life when they have retired or left their jobs, and aren’t living with their families, it helps them feel valued and appreciated. You raised a good point about older people not thinking of themselves as ‘old’ and by treating them that ways, you do make them feel old, which further shortens their life I feel.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding your pearls of wisdom to the post 🙂

  8. Vijesh

    May 14, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Nice Share Harleena,

    We are sometimes so preoccupied with our daily works like 9 to 5 jobs, personal works and family that we don’t spend time for elderly people. when I am on the way to my school and when I see people in need I feel like doing something but I had to stop as time factor matters. My principal will scold if I am late so due to that I need to leave such chances.

    I feel sometimes that the society don’t understand us and we are dependent on jobs for our live hood. We need to obey the orders of our higher authorities and when we keep them aside they keep us aside.

    Doing something odd against the society needs lot of commitment. People praise when we do good but the same people curse when mistakes happen. In order to be in time to the school I had to close my eyes on many people but I need to take that step where I would be prepared to take the blame game.

    Still I think there would definitely be a time to care those elderly people. As you have said we need to offer them seats in the bus or trains wherever we are though time factor rules we can care them within our limits.

    Thanks for the share Harleena, should keep in mind to spend some time with the elderly people. That age is also an age where they need to be cared and loved.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 15, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      Hi Vijesh,

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      Absolutely! Sometimes even when we want to, we aren’t able to take out the time to spend with our loved ones or elders, but that’s something we need to do – create time for those we care – isn’t it?

      I can understand what you mean, though going out of your way to help the needy or the elderly when you have the time or over the weekend might help too.

      Yes indeed, people are people and you’d find very few of them who would really appreciate your sincere efforts. I guess if you know for yourself that you are doing something good for the society, you really don’t have to think about people and just go ahead and do it.

      If we can help out the elderly people in whatever way possible, it would be a good deed done more than anything else. Time factor is an issues with everyone nowadays, but like it’s said when you wish and want something really bad – you will take out time for it 🙂

      Yes, respecting the elderly isn’t tough, provided you are ready and willing to do so. All they need is love and care.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views. 🙂

  9. Neamat Tawadrous

    May 14, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    This is a great topic you are bringing to the light Harleena.

    I was born and risen in the Middle East where they really put a lot of weight on the respect of the elders. But as I grew up I see that it lessens as the time goes on and the new generations that come up have less respect if not at all to the elders. It’s sad how our world is falling. Even the Bible mentioned and advised us to respect the elderly by saying in Leviticus 19:32 “Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord”.

    I see lots of people take their parents to nursing or senior homes and leave them there even without asking about them or see what they need. It breaks my heart as I am dealing with a case like that nowadays where a son leaves his mom in the senior home and she doesn’t even speak English to ask or express herself when she needs something and all this because he wants to satisfy his wife. What a world we are living in these days?

    Respect for the elderly is very important and Godly and part of discipling our children should be to teach them to respect the elderly even if they are not related to them.

    Thanks Harleena for such a great post. We should always be reminded to respect them ourselves and teach our children the same.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      Hi Neamat,

      Nice to know that you liked the post 🙂

      I agree with you there. Like in your country, we too are raised to respect our elders right from the time when we are young, but one tends to see it all lessen a great deal nowadays. That’s the most saddening part.

      Ah…I read those lines from the Bible too and am glad you mentioned them here. They just go to show that respecting the elderly isn’t something out of the world or a task people cannot do, it’s been carrying on since ages.

      You hit the nail on the head – that’s what I wanted to know also, as to why people take such drastic steps and send their elders or parents to the nursing homes. Speaking of myself, I would simply drop all that I am doing and take care or nurse my elders myself when the need arises, instead of sending them to such a place. It’s the least I can do. Not to mention, that even the elderly don’t like going to care homes, yet they have to go as they have no choice. I just wish people would try placing themselves in the shoes of the elderly – would they like it if they were shifted to a nursing home? Just this one thought should stop them from doing so.

      I feel so sorry for the son who left his mother in an old age home, just to please his wife, which again is such a common thing happening nowadays. More so, how’d she be finding her way about when she can’t speak English. Feel so sorry for her and the condition she might be in. Hope her son realizes his mistake and comes for her soon.

      It all does come down to the values we instill in our kids to respect the elders, and make sure they follow it right through. Sometimes when kids grow up and aren’t doing what they should be doing, they need constant reminders, and that’s where we as parents play a major part – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us. 🙂

  10. Peter

    May 14, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    It is indeed very good and normal to care for elders knowing that we will also be an elder someday.

    All the tips you listed here are really what we should be doing in order to ensure that we give our elders their due respect. No obedient and decent person will disrespect an elder.

    There is a saying that the voice of elders are voice of spirit and i agree to that because their advises and prayers always helps us.

    Thanks for sharing such an awesome post Harleena.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 15, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Welcome to the blog Peter!

      Absolutely! Yet, some people don’t seem to realize this simple fact 🙂

      Glad you liked these ways of respecting the elderly that we need to follow, and I do hope and pray that people do these things, or have their own ways of showing their due respect to the elders.

      Yes indeed, that saying is so apt for this post and thanks for sharing it with us here. It IS their blessings, words of wisdom, and so many years of experience that helps us in more ways than one. Just wish people would realize it all.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  11. Ntathu Allen

    May 14, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Bless you Harleena,

    You always raise important family-life-communication issues which make me pause and ponder..ummm how am I treating elders in my life? I know I can do more and spend more time visiting some of my elder relatives, yet I don’t. I spend so much time communicating with peers and friends via texts/online methods that I have forgotten the joy in writing a simple letter to elderly relatives who live overseas and aren’t on Facebook.

    Locally, I live in a very mixed aged population, some of my neighbors are elderly and live alone and as I write this comment I am thinking I could easily knock on their door or drop a note through their door to say “hello”. I think there is a difference between being respecting our elders and being elderly..we should respect everyone, regardless of their age and the wisdom age brings should be honored and respected.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      Hi Ntathu – nice to see you after long 🙂

      Nice to know that you liked the post and it made you think too 🙂

      Ah…you’re not guilty there as most of us can do a lot, yet we get bound by time and our task that it’s never done. I can understand what you mean by that, and social media can be addictive if we don’t know how much of time we need to spend on it, or else those things that need our attention are the ones often left out. Perhaps after reading today’s post, you might just pen your thoughts to your elderly relative living overseas 🙂

      That would indeed be a lovely gesture if you can reach out and connect with the elders around your area, more so, because they are alone. Just a simple ‘hello’, or asking if they need anything, or assuring them to reach out to you if they are in need ever, will make a world of a difference to them.

      I agree, respect should be shown to everyone – even small kids for that matter, though sadly enough the elderly are the ones who aren’t always shown much of it, though they deserve it the most.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us 🙂

  12. Deone Higgs

    May 15, 2013 at 3:26 am

    Another wonderful post of the highest caliber here, Harleena!

    I love the elderly. You never know what you’re going to get when conversing with them. They have reached a place in life that we all hope to meet one day, and have earned the right to say their piece. With age has come much wisdom, and wisdom always demands the utmost respect. In the community where we’re currently living there are many feisty seniors who are far from giving up on life, most are more active than I am, and do far more than I can even think of in a day.

    I completely agree with you on this post. Respect is while it is certainly earned, I think a lot of people have a misconception of what “earned” really means. It’s not a term suggesting that it has to be necessarily earned with the individual seeking it. It is entrusted to people who have earned it in life, in general.

    Well, how does one know if someone has earned respect in life, in general? Their presence, attitude, persona, and aura all oozes of that respect. They not only have for themselves, more importantly they have it for life, others, nature, and everything in between.

    That kind of respect is the sine qua non of life that we should all aspire to attain. It foundation is wisdom, and the cornerstone of it is love.

    I really enjoyed the ways you shared here that we can use to show more respect to the elderly, as well. These will truly come in handy, and hopefully when we’re seniors, we will be blessed to receive the respect we’ve delivered.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      Hi Deone,

      Thank you for your words of encouragement 🙂

      Your’e so right in saying that, and just this simple fact should earn them their due respect if nothing else. I just wish more people would realize this simple fact. I guess some people take themselves to be wiser than the elderly, and there goes the respect they ought to show them.

      Oh yes…some of the elderly I know are living their lives to the fullest. I think that’s because they’ve gone through all their responsibilities of raising their kids and are leading happy retired lives. However, there are a few other who are just the opposite and again for many reasons like health, depression, lack of love from their loved ones etc.

      I’m so glad you clarified this misconception that people have of earning respect. Loved your explanation about it – Respect is entrusted to people who have earned it in life, in general. Absolutely – that respect shows in many areas of their lives, just as you mentioned so well here, something that we all need to attain. Another awesome one – It foundation is wisdom, and the cornerstone of it is love.

      Thanks so much for adding so much more value to the post with your lovely comment. It’s always a pleasure to have you over 🙂

  13. Corina Ramos

    May 15, 2013 at 6:17 am

    It’s so true we should be respecting our elders but that’s not the case. I used to love hearing my grandmother’s stories, they were so fascinating, especially the ones who lived through times like the great depression. You know, we could learn a lot from our elders.

    My parents have always taught us to respect our elders and I pass that one to my kids. Any time we see a senior who needs help, we are there to offer ours, that’s just the right thing to do.

    I believe what goes around comes around and for those who don’t respect and mistreat our elders, they had better be prepared to receive the same treatment when it’s their turn, just sayin’ like my daughter says 😉

    Thanks for sharing this post with us. Hope you’ve had a great day.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Hi Corina,

      I also wish it were, though a lot has changed from the time when people were respecting the elderly and loved doing so.

      Absolutely! Those stories are still so fresh in my mind, and I’ve shared them with my kids too. There is so much we can learn from the elderly only if we stop and listen to them – isn’t it?

      I agree with you there. Instilling these values in our kids and following it up, is what would really make them respect the elderly and help them in time of need.

      Your daughter sounds so wise, and I also believe in the same theory. I guess we better play our role well and do our best to appreciate, respect, and value our elders. We are going to be where they are one day and no one would ever want to be disrespected at that age – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. Have a nice day as well 🙂

  14. Temilola Globalwalyy

    May 15, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Hello Harleena,

    I really don’t know how thing are arrange over there, but here when you wake up in the morning and you wanna greet your parent or elderly person, its compulsory a boy must prostrate while the girl kneel down…

    But now a days things have totally change, Gone are those day, when you refuse when an elderly person want to shake hand with you, you only bow your head, but now a days even the young guys stretch hand to shake hand with old person…

    Respect old people the way you wished to be respected…
    Thanks for writing this post, these surely deserve a share

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 15, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      Hi Temilola,

      That’s a great way I must say 🙂

      Well, it varies from place to place at our end because there is no hard and fast rule as to how you greet an elder, though it has to be with respect. Some people normally fold hands and bow their heads, and in some places they even touch the feet of their elders when they meet them for the first time or in the morning, while some others just hug them too where the elders allow and want it that way.

      Yes, things have changed a lot nowadays, and what was done earlier, is no way done now, which is what saddens me the most. I guess in the earlier days respecting the elderly was an absolute must, and they held a very special position as compared to nowadays when they are taken rather lightly.

      I totally agree with you there – respect them as you’d want to be respected more than anything else. More over, you never lose anything by doing so, instead, only seek their love and blessings – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and for sharing it too. 🙂

      • Temilola Globalwalyy

        May 15, 2013 at 5:48 pm

        Yes you are right Harleena, their blessing seems to work more than charms, and even God mention that in both BIBLE and QUR’AN, how important and effective older people prayer can be…

        I don’t think respecting will cost you any harm

        • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

          Harleena Singh

          May 15, 2013 at 5:59 pm

          Yes indeed – they do work wonders 🙂

          Oh yes…it’s mentioned in most of the holy books that we should be respecting the elderly and their prayers help us in more ways than one. I just hope and pray more people would realize this fact.

          Thanks once again 🙂

  15. Lisa

    May 15, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Interesting topic Harleena,

    I don’t always see the younger generation respecting their elders like my generation did and it’s quite sad. I’m not sure why since they were taught to but maybe it will just take t hem longer to respect them. I think adulthood has been delayed for many in the younger generations and they are not mature enough to totally respect their elders. I sure hope it does change. I love hearing the old stories from the elders in my family.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 15, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      Hi Lisa,

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      I totally agree with you there, which is rather saddening for me too. Even my own kids, it’s tough to teach them how and what to do when other kids around them don’t do it any more. However, I’m glad they play up their part and do what they are told, which I feel we need to instill into our kids till they start doing it on their own.

      Yes, that maturity level is something they still have to reach and once they start understanding it they might start respecting the elderly too. One can just hope and pray for the best, though from our side we should keep trying – isn’t it? Ah…stories were my favorite too, and I still remember so many of them 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us 🙂

  16. Aditya

    May 15, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Hi,

    It’s been really long but glad I found some time to read your blog. A really good post and much needed, particularly with the current situation of our society.

    I must admit that technology has had a detrimental role in hampering the younger generation’s respect towards the elderly.

    Familial relations have taken a major blow as very young children too are succumbing to technology and thus their relationships are getting strained.

    I’m glad I’m from the 90s and I guess my generation is the last one to respect and carry forward these values to the next generation. I, for one can honestly say that I respect my elders very much.

    Wonderful post and a great quote there too! All superb ways to repsect the elderly, thanks for sharing!

    Aditya

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 15, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      Hi Aditya – nice to have you back 🙂

      Glad you could take out the time to visit here, it sure is nice to have you over 🙂

      I agree with you there. Technology is one reason, which again will keep getting more complex and making our lives tougher. What matter is how we manage the time to get away from all such things and do what is needed to be done. And respecting the elderly is something we can’t tend to ignore – isn’t it?

      Yes, kids too are taken in by the latest gadgets, computers, videos, games, television and all those things. It’s the parent’s responsibility again to restrict or limit the usage of such things to a few hours and take time and patience to instill the values in their kids, or else there’d be a lot that would be left out.

      I too am glad I don’t belong to this generation, though I wouldn’t say that everyone nowadays isn’t good at showing respect to the elders, but yes – there are quite a many who aren’t and they influence even those who do respect the elderly. I wish things would get better and they realize the simple fact that one day they too are going to be in the same place.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views, and yes, you know I cannot do without quotes 🙂

  17. Ferb

    May 15, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Love this and this’s going to help a lot more people to understand to respect elder. Always respect elder people and everyone else is important cause when you give people respect and they will give you respect as well.

    Thanks – Ferb

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 18, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      Welcome to the blog Ferb!

      Glad you liked the post about respecting the elderly 🙂

      You are right about giving and getting respect. But sometimes our elders deserve our respect, even if they don’t give it to us – isn’t it? I guess just knowing the fact that they are elder and respected makes us do that.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  18. clara54

    May 15, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Harleena,

    You are so spot on with this post! The last 10 years of my 35 year nursing career was spent in geriatrics. I never felt so overwhelmed with emotion for these wise people who no longer felt in control or heard. Yes, I do advocate for the wisdom and support of the elderly! They have been where we still have to go and the stories they want/need to share with us are for the most part, being ignored.

    Blessings,

    Clara

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 15, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      Hi Clara,

      Nice to know that you could resonate with the post 🙂

      You’d be the best person to know more about respecting the elderly and how they are the most neglected or mistreated lots in most of the cases. Your’e absolutely right – we too will be there one day and this one fact we often tend to forget. I do wish things would get better. A change is what is required in the attitude of the people more than anything else – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

  19. Debbie

    May 15, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    What a great post Harleena.

    Yes, respect for elderly people is going down the drain. When i was a kid, we were always taught respect for our elders. one way was when it came to aunts and uncles we were always taught to address them Aunt so and so or Uncle so or so. never just use there first name.I am with you I see the young generation having NO respect for them. Just shoving them aside. They forget what these people have done for them. Thank you very much for writing about this. it is a problem in society today.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 15, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Hi Debbie,

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      Absolutely! When we were kids the scene was totally different than what it is presently. Our parents made sure we learnt our lessons and values well enough and that included respecting the elderly.

      Calling the elderly by their first or last names was forbidden for us, though nowadays the younger generation doesn’t think twice to do so, or perhaps even the elderly people have gotten used to it and some of them don’t even mind it.

      I wish that those who aren’t respecting their elders, start doing it as it’s never too late to start if you haven’t been doing it so far. More over, if they just put themselves in the shoes of the elders, they would realize how it all feels.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us 🙂

  20. adam smith

    May 15, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Great post. The world is changing and not for the better, and seriously – if a child doesn’t have at least one grounded parent (that doesn’t say yes as it’s easy) – there is hope. Children today are encouraged to grown up quickly by the media & lazy parents that can’t be bothered to parent and would rather be friends…I like many others of a generation was tought to respect elders – infact everybody…these days all amny children care about is themsleves and how they look on the outside…..they are in for a big shock 🙂

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 16, 2013 at 8:35 am

      Welcome to the blog Adam!

      I agree with you there. Yes, things are fast changing, and I’d say parenting too has a major role in how the kids are raised to respect their elders. I guess the training should start when they are young, and followed up right through till they are mature enough to understand things.

      Children are generally self-centered when they are young, in most of the cases. However, if they aren’t taught the right from the wrong, or taught the right values and principles, they’d just be happy doing what they do. So, perhaps the change has to start from a combined effort made by parents and their children.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  21. Matthew Denos

    May 16, 2013 at 12:57 am

    Hello Harleena,

    A well written post on the importance of appreciating our elders! In Greece, older people are not respected as much (at least by the government) given that their pension plan has lately been cut 50%!

    We tend to honor and respect those who have achieved great things in life. But I believe older people, regardless of their wisdom and success in life, should be honored and respected. Showing respect often means, as you said, giving time to the other person to talk. Listen to them. Elders have been where you are now. We shouldn’t think we know more simply because we may be more educated, be technologically more updated or make more money than they do.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 16, 2013 at 8:57 am

      Hi Matthew – good to have you back 🙂

      Glad you liked the post on the ways of respecting the elderly 🙂

      Sorry to hear about how things are in Greece, and am glad they are a little better our end as compared.

      I agree with you there – the elderly need to be respected no matter what, and I’m sure we can at leas do that much on our part – can’t we? There’s very little needed to show respect to the elderly – simple things mean a lot to then I’d say. Yes, spending time with them, hearing them out, listening to them and the other ways or respecting the elderly as mentioned could be followed.

      Yes indeed, we need to be humble and understand that the elderly have already crossed the path we are walking on, they’ve seen it all, and just because we might have more power or are doing well for ourselves now, we neglect them. I wish more people realize this and play their part.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  22. Peter

    May 16, 2013 at 5:08 am

    Hello Harleena,

    What an article on the elderly in the society. The young generation no longer respects the elderly in the society and yet they have so many blessings if we give the the respect they deserve

    You are so on point in this article

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 16, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Welcome to the blog Peter!

      Nice to know that you liked the post on respecting the elderly 🙂

      I agree with you there. The generation nowadays need to play up more and give the elderly their due respect. And blessings – our elders always shower us with blessings, no matter how we are towards them – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  23. Jodi

    May 16, 2013 at 6:44 am

    I love your list on how to respect the elderly. Especially to respond to a question or request. It is just good common sense but sometimes people get treated like they are invisible! Thanks for writing this!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 16, 2013 at 9:02 am

      Hi Jodi,

      Glad you liked the list on the ways to respect elders 🙂

      You’re right about that – and it’s these very simple and common things that people tend to ignore. By just being kind in the way you speak to an elderly or the way you behave can show you care in more ways than one.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  24. Alicia Patrick

    May 16, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    We must respect not only the elders but the kids as well so that they would feel what it is to be respected. We live in a world where this virtue is being forgotten and we should teach it if we wanted to be respected when we grow old in the long run.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 17, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      Welcome to the blog Alicia!

      You’re absolutely right there – everyone needs to be respected, though I feel it’s mostly the elderly who are not given their due respect nowadays. I guess such values need to be instilled in children right from a young age so that by the time they grown up, respecting the elderly becomes a habit for them.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  25. Enstine Muki

    May 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Hey Harleena,

    In our African society, respecting the very aged people is a key social point. It is believed that spirits often manifest in the form of an old man or woman so if you mishandle your contact with any of these old people, you may attract a curse on yourself. Besides, their pronouncements often come to pass.

    In most social gatherings here, it’s seldom to see an old man standing while others (younger generation) are sitting. People are generally aware of what to do. The old are not allowed to queue, stand, etc. They are often given priority treatments.

    However, there are some spoiled seeds around who have no iota of respect for this class of people. It’s really hurting to see how some young men treat them. It looks like a curse to me.

    My mum and dad are in their 70s and 80s. I know what it means to live with old people. Last time I visited home, they were waxing strong. I can’t just stand anyone looking down on them.

    I think the old are the proof of long life in any society. Any settlement without the aged is a sign of high death rates. It means people die younger.

    Treat the old bad, you die young! Treat them old, you shall see old age 😉

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Enstine,

      Nice to know more about your culture and tradition where respecting the elderly is concerned. I liked the spirit concept, and this way at least people would surely be respecting their elders. 🙂

      I think a lot depends on the various cultures and how these values of respecting the elders are concerned. Just as it’s in your country, similar is in our country too, though nowadays the younger generation tends to ignore giving up their seat, or keep sitting while an elder is standing.

      I do see a lot of changes taking place our end also in this regard, and mainly in the youngsters. I wouldn’t blame them entirely because somewhere or the other parents have become too involved in making ends meet or both partners work and there’s hardly any time to inculcate such values into these children. Nevertheless, time always has to be taken out for things that have to do be done – isn’t it?

      God Bless your parents, and yes that’s a lovely age to be in. Not to mention how much they must be looking forward to your visit to them, whenever you do so. Oh yes…I agree with you there, though who sees the age really – if you are young at heart – you never grow old really, isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post by sharing your experiences with us. 🙂

  26. Annie André

    May 16, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Respecting your elders is a given for me. You have given some great examples and ways people can respect their elders. I think a lot of people who treat their elders with respect simply don,t know how to.

    On the flip side, I have shown some respect to elderly who were clearly not worthy of any respect. (Bad people have to grow old too). In these cases, I just disengage rather than attack.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 17, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      Hi Annie,

      Nice to know that it is something you too strongly believe in 🙂

      I agree with you there, and most of the time even if they want to they don’t know how to, or what respecting the elderly really means in the first place. All of this seems so contrary to what Enstine mentioned above where it’s so much part of their culture.

      That is a better way to deal with those elderly people who aren’t really worthy of our respect, though it still seems so tough not to respect them. I guess we just play our role and do what we’ve been taught, unless they’re of course they’re totally unworthy of respect.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

  27. emran

    May 16, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    A wonderful post and it is social matter. Really, we should respect our elders.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      Welcome to the blog Emran!

      Glad you liked this post on respecting the elderly. Oh yes – we should be respecting our elders – no matter what. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  28. Adrienne

    May 16, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    This subject is near and dear to my heart Harleena. I can’t imagine who would ever mistreat an elder let alone children or animals. Okay, some people are just cruel.

    When I left corporate America I interviewed at two different places just wanting to try something different. Be someplace I thought I could make a difference. One of them was in an assisted living facility and I actually got the job. The problem was that it was too far for me to drive and the hours were late, which I liked, but the money wasn’t worth the time or gas it took me to get there.

    I really wanted that job because I got to spend time with some of the people who lived there and they were such lovely people. They were going to assign me to the Alzheimer wing because I’m so bubbly and outgoing they felt my personality would fit good because it’s important to keep their minds alert. I was really kind of sad about it to be honest with you but had I taken that job I wouldn’t be here so I guess it worked out for the best.

    Now some people can’t understand why I would want my Mom living next door. I guess some people don’t have a good relationship with their parents but I definitely do and I enjoy her company. I know someday I’ll be longing for that so I enjoy her while I’m here.

    I totally have respect not only for the elders but for people in general and it’s sad that you have to actually teach people how to do the same but if that’s something that can be learned and applied then I’m all for it.

    Great post Harleena and thank you for sharing.

    ~Adrienne

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      Harleena Singh

      May 18, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      Hi Adrienne,

      Nice to know that this is something you can so well relate to 🙂

      Yes, some people ARE cruel and we see so many of those kinds around – don’t we?

      It’s good to know about your experience, and I wonder how it would have been or what path you might have taken had you joined that job. But yes, certain things aren’t just meant to be, or they don’t work out the way they should for various reasons.

      I’m so sure that had they assigned you to the Alzheimer wing, the elderly there would have gotten so much better just by being with you because of the lovely personality you have 🙂

      Absolutely! She should be near you all the time. In-fact, had she really been willing, I think you would’ve wanted her to live with you. I also just can’t imagine how people cannot understand the importance of loving and being with their parents or respecting the elderly – these are such basic things to be done!

      I agree with you there – respect should be shown to everyone, though often times it’s the elder lots who aren’t given the respect they deserve, for whatever reasons people might have. I wish they wouldn’t think this way. I guess because they don’t and I do notice it, so I thought to write about it and make them a little aware as to how they can get better.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post. Have a lovely weekend – with your Mom 🙂

  29. Hiten

    May 16, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    What a brilliant post on such an important topic!

    My opinion is that we really should help the elderly like we would children. Two age groups are the most vulnerable, which are the elderly and kids. Hence, we should do all we can to help the elderly, respect them and cherish the time we have with them.

    The most elderly person in my family is my Nan. She is 93 and is absolutely magical. Her memory is still very good and I love visiting her. I think people that age are closer to God and this just emanates out of them.

    Unfortunately, in the UK, I get a feeling (a much generalised one), that there are many families who don’t care about the elders in their family as much as they could. I think a lot of people would benefit from reading this post. You are so right about the point you made about elderly people really feeling respected when we’ve been patient and listened to them. You can just see the delight on their faces!

    Thank you.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      Hi Hiten,

      Glad you liked the post, and yes, I also thought it IS an important, though often neglected topic 🙂

      I totally second your views on that one, and it is the kids and elders who are most vulnerable and the least respected as well. I guess the age factor plays a major role as people tend to take kids to be either too small to understand, or the elders too old to bother. They don’t realize the feelings and sentiments both have – isn’t it?

      Nice to know more about your Nan, and 93 is such a lovely age to be in, reminds me of my Grandmother too, though she never lived that long. Yes, they have a magical aura around them giving us a heavenly feeling too.

      That’s exactly how people are getting all over the world, though perhaps it might be more in the UK as you mentioned. I’m glad that parents instill the values of respecting the elderly in our country, and most of the younger lots do follow it up too. However, there are always a few exceptions, and one is seeing the change that’s come about with time. I do hope and pray that those who forget to respect their elders realize what they are missing out, and it’s never too late to start – isn’t it?

      All they need is a little bit of you time, attention, patience, care, love, and understanding, which isn’t much I’m sure. Yes, that delight on their face when they feel respected and heard to is matchless. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and adding so much more to the post. 🙂

  30. Ahsan

    May 16, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    If you respect the elders, others will look at you in a different but in a respected too. An advice from elderly person works as a tonic for the younger. But I see now a days young generation are not showing proper respect. They think they know everything.

    Respect to the elders are decreasing day by day in Europe. It gives bad signal to a society. But I am lucky to say that still in Asia there are good sign of respect to the elders.

    You added some good points which we must show to the elders. Hope we’ll follow the advice until our death. So our next generation will learn from it

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      Harleena Singh

      May 18, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      Hi Ahsan,

      Yes indeed, you will be respected if you respect your elders. More so, your children will learn the way of respecting the elderly when they see you do it, which will make them respect you now, and also when you age – isn’t it?

      That IS the saddest part of all. Some youngsters tend to think they know everything, or want to have their way and say in everything, and don’t bother about the feelings of the elders around them. Some elders are just treated as if they don’t exist, which saddens me a lot. Yes – such things are happening more in other countries, though we are still lucky that we aren’t affected all that much as yet.

      I also hope these ways help people in some ways and they realize what they are missing out on.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

  31. bbrian017

    May 17, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Hello Harleena,

    When I’m out in public I’m always opening doors or respecting the elders. In fact I always thought I would go into that career but it seems marketing has got a hold of me,

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      Harleena Singh

      May 18, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      Hi Brian – good to see you after long 🙂

      That’s very nice indeed, and am sure even when you aren’t out in public and at home with your elders, you’d be doing the very same things. I guess it all comes down to what we have been taught and how we learn to respect the elderly.

      Ah…I wonder where you’d been had you taken up that as a career! Perhaps what has to happen is always predestined, and it happens – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  32. B k chowla

    May 17, 2013 at 7:03 am

    This is where what we call ” SANSKAR” comes into play.
    If the children have been brought up with values of life……this topic would never have come up

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      Harleena Singh

      May 18, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      Hi BK,

      Absolutely! And those are what make or break a man as they say – isn’t it? I wish such were the case, but seeing the changing trend in society, I thought it best to make those people a little aware who aren’t respecting the elderly.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  33. Manickam Vijayabanu

    May 17, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Harleena,

    Another emotional subject from you. You touch our heart. Absolutely the elderly age is awesome period and we need to respect a lot.
    I always love to discuss and share my love with elderly person and truly an awesome feeling. Either our parents or grandparents…There are huge life learning curve to learn which can only transform by them. 🙂

    We need to respect them and share our warmth love at this age and that’s priceless. Thanks for sharing the great article Harleena. 🙂

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 19, 2013 at 1:46 am

      Hi Manickam,

      It sure is an emotional subject because I feel strongly about it, and am glad it touched your heart in some way as well. 🙂

      Feelings and emotions need to expressed and shown I feel, and if you love and respect an elder let them know you do! Nothing can brighten their day better than knowing that you care.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts 🙂

  34. Dana

    May 17, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Hi Harleena,

    My first time here 🙂

    It’s interesting timing that I came across this post. I had recently finished reading “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle and he discusses the elderly in the last chapter.

    The way I interpreted his message was that the elderly were simply at a place in their lives where the spiritual dimension had room to express itself through them. Without the need to identify with form, they are at a place of accepting the simplicity of being and that in ancient cultures, they were often respected and admired for their wisdom.

    Today I’m not sure we really pay much attention to respect in general, let alone toward the elderly. Respect involves being aware of the impact we have on others and the world around us. I believe we’re on the verge of asking the right questions – but it will take being a little less busy and a little more conscious.
    Beautiful article!

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      Harleena Singh

      May 19, 2013 at 2:13 am

      Welcome to the blog Dana!

      That surely does sound like a nice co-incidence, and perhaps that’s the reason you landed here at the right time 🙂

      I so agree with what you interpreted, and I think you explained that beautifully here. I’m sure you must have enjoyed reading such a wonderful book too.

      Yes indeed, respect seems to have lost it’s meaning today, which is what’s rather saddening. We do need to change ourselves and start respecting the elderly if we aren’t doing that already, and as you mentioned – be a little more conscious and less busy can help, provided we are willing to take that step.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  35. Shalu Sharma

    May 17, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Respecting the elderly is our ethical duty. We all will be beoming old one day and if we don’t then what can we really expect from our youngsters. They will learn the same thing. Hence it is our duty to be respectful towards the elderly. They have played their part in society and its now turn to relax. I love the classic ways your have outlined for respecting the elderly.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 19, 2013 at 2:19 am

      Hi Shalu,

      It sure is, yet some people refuse to understand this simple face. Yes indeed, we need to think how we would feel if we aren’t respected when we grow old and aren’t respected.

      It all does start from the way you instill the values in your children and teach them about respecting the elderly. They too see you respect your elders, and will do the same.

      They have done their bit and some are even doing their best for the society today, and the least we can do on our part is show some love and respect towards them. I hope the youngsters get this message, and those also who aren’t showing the due respect.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  36. anis

    May 18, 2013 at 3:53 am

    I think we must respect the elderly and listen to them carefully because they have more experience than us in life so we have a lot to learn from them, they are weak tough and we should take care of them as well, they are the ones, that took care of us when we were childs
    thanks for sharing this awesome post!

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      Harleena Singh

      May 19, 2013 at 2:23 am

      Hi Anis,

      Absolutely! If for nothing else, we can at least respect them for their years of wisdom and experience, and give them credit for know more than us as they have seen more of life than we have.

      We tend to forget that or elders were the ones who raised us too, and we too are going to be in that place one day. There IS a lot we can learn from them, provided we are willing to spend time and listen to what they have to say – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

  37. Mayura

    May 18, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Needless to say, I’m really believe in it 🙂 It may be how I grew up, but I believe not only elders but everyone need to be respected. You don’t give it, you won’t earn it 🙂

    I know, that some elders might be annoying and not the way we like them to be. May be we are not the way they like us to be either 😀 lol… Lack of communication.

    As I feel, this is one aspect of a story Harleena 🙂 Elders may expecting respect but they may not consider giving it. Children mostly follows what their elders do rather than what they ask them to do, no? I think that’s where it all begins. If someone don’t learn to respect elders in first 10 – 15 years in his life, I doubt if he does it later on.

    Once I was amazed by seeing a friend being disrespectful to his grandmother as his parents work overseas. I’ve asked about it from him, and he replied “Why should I be afraid of her?”. Respecting is being afraid? Once misconception I used to hear a lot Halreena.

    Gosh… Blooming old houses and nursing homes. I’ve read and watched numerous interviews conducted with elders living in old houses and when they were asked about their children, they become emotional. May be they weren’t caring their children much earlier, but never left ’em after all. How fair is it to keep parents away from their lives after all?

    However what goes around comes around Harleena 🙂 I’ve seen it a lot, no matter what. Once a drunken father finally becomes a good person, but it’s too late sometimes and spend rest of his life in an old house.

    I agree that people nowadays losing control easily due to lack of patience. I think there’s a duty for parents and elders to guide children by setting as example. It’s sad to talk about some elders as they are giving wrong impression for children too.

    Further, I strongly believe the media is doing this for new generation with commercialized World Harleena. Sadly, they fall for it. Then believe that’s the right thing to do and what their parents teach them to do were outdated.

    You have a wonderful weekend with your family over there Harleena 🙂

    Cheers…

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      Hi Mayura,

      Of course, I already know how much you believe in respecting the elderly 🙂

      Yes, it’s not only the elders, but everyone who deserves to be respected, and the more you give the more you get too, though you should respect the elders selflessly and not to get respect in return. But yes, when you show respect to your elders, your children see you do that and would respect you when you reach that age too.

      Oh yes…some elders are like that, and so are we as you mentioned. Nevertheless, we should still respect them for their age and years of experience, and simply for the fact that they are older than us.

      Elders too should change their way of thinking and respect their juniors or anyone for that matter, but with some elders its tough to reason or tough to change their ways because they have become used to a certain way of living and thinking. But I agree with you, that they should at least try themselves to change and get better if nothing else.

      You raised a good point about whether respecting is being afraid, which is not the case. Just as in the case of your friend, and his feeling that he wouldn’t respect his grandmother because he’s not afraid of her, which I feel he said because his parents aren’t around or he’s not afraid of them either.

      You respect because you feel like respecting and honoring your elders for all that they’ve done for you, especially when they are your own elders. Isn’t your friend attached or thankful to his grandmother for all that she’s done for him? And he doesn’t feel like respecting her for doing that, besides the age? Or perhaps he has no feelings for her, which could be another reason, and his parents too couldn’t have instilled these values in him as they live overseas – there could be so many reasons.

      I agree with you there, and when I saw them too, it moved my heart as to how parents just desert their own parents and elders and leave them in such nursing homes – don’t they have any feelings or emotions for them? Yes, some do it because they feel their elders are better taken care of in such places or better medical facilities exist there, though speaking of myself, I’d have made arrangements to keep them home, with me, and cater to all the medical facilities at home too.

      We forget to place ourselves in their shoes – would we like going to spend the rest of our life in a nursing home? Would we like to live in such an isolated and lonely life, especially in the tail end of our lives? I don’t think so, then why send our elders there? I’m glad this hasn’t picked up much in our countries as yet, though people do tend to get influenced by others and it just might be something more working people would go in for in the near future.

      Yes, it’s a combined responsibility of both, parents and their children to ensure that the right values are instilled and followed by setting an example. However, sometimes when parents aren’t really how they ought to be when they are young towards their children, the kids also turn against them. I’ve seen a lot of such cases too. But keep all those thoughts aside, especially when they grow old and dependent on you. Why keep such feelings within you, and perhaps when you change towards your parents, they might also realize their mistake and become good towards you.

      Karma does matter, and how and what you do, will come onto you too, sooner or later. So, play your part and always be and do good, even if you haven’t been done good to – you lose nothing, but will gain much 🙂

      I’ve no idea about the media etc., and all I know is if you have an inner conscious, you will not go by what others tell you, instead, do what your heart tells you, which can never go wrong.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your lovely contribution, as always, to the post. Have a lovely weekend as well. 🙂

  38. Rebecca

    May 24, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    How we treat our elderly will probably reflects on how our children will treat us in the future when we are old. So if you wanted to be treated nicely and respectfully when you are older, you should try to treat your grandparents with respect today. They have cared for you, most probably your parents, too, and respect is the most inexpensive form of caring for your aging loved ones. Way cheaper than just any personal emergency responder or medical alert system.

    “If your parents are tech savvy, then a mobile phone would be ideal, or then a website update every 2-3 hours would keep you less worried too.” Well, there is a huge collection of devices suited for the elderly that needs no “tech savvy”-ness involve. Take for example the 5star responder, Just5, and something from Samsung too. Choosing the best phones or devices for your elderly is not as hard as we think. All in all, this is a highly useful and very informative post. Thanks Harleena for this great content.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      May 26, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      Hi Rebecca,

      Absolutely! And our kids watch every move we make or how we deal with our elders, so we need to be very careful of our words and actions 🙂

      All our elders want from us is love, care, respect, and understanding, which I think these aren’t some things we can’t give them. Even if we don’t take it that way, we should be respecting the elderly because we want our kids to respect us, we should just be doing it out of the honor we have for them, or their age and the years of experience they have.

      I agree with you there – with tech changing so fast nowadays, there are many devices we get where our seniors don’t even need to be all that tech savvy. However, you’d be surprised to know with how much interest some of the elders take up to the new gadgets, mobiles, computers and things, because they are still keen to learn something new. More so, they have all the free time now as compared to their earlier years that were spent looking after their kids and working.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  39. Cheryl Ragsdale

    October 6, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Hello Harleena,

    It’s interesting that you say “Don’t think that the elderly are worthless because they no longer have jobs.” What!? That’s a terrible attitude to have towards people. That made me sad to read that. I found a Facebook page created by a teenager who did the right thing (gave her seat up on the bus), but didn’t receive the right response (a simple thank you or acknowledgement) from an elder person (a stranger).

    For the most part, I agree that elders are to be respected. Just like in any other realm of life, if the elder in question is rude, then respect yourself by ending the conversation. You don’t have to stay around to hear rude comments. Especially if the person is a stranger. It’s a little different — more latitude is given — when the elder is closer to you.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 6, 2013 at 9:54 am

      Hi Cheryl,

      Welcome to my blog! Thanks for your views. Well, there are all kinds of people in the world. They think and act differently. You can never generalize a particular category of people as good or bad, and the same goes for the elderly or the young.

      Having said that, I’ve seen young people having bad attitude towards the elderly, and even the elderly having incorrect views about the young. While writing the post, I tried to consider and write about all the perspectives and you’ll notice that I’ve mentioned that there are exceptions even in case of respecting the elderly – may be not all deserve that. But then who decides that?

      For a child, the parent or person who stops them from doing the wrong thing is bad. Not only children, even the teenagers and young adults too sometimes behave this way. So, they may decide that the elders need not be respected. But when they grow up, they understand that if the parent was seemingly rude at the particular time or incident in the past, there was a reason for it, and it was for his or her own good.

      Think of it – can you define and decide about a person by observing one particular incident at a particular time in life? We keep changing and so do our thoughts and views. At the end we realize that it’s all about us – not matter how people or things are, what matters is what we make of ourselves.

      Sometimes we’ve bad experience and undergo bad times in life, and some elderly grow up to be cynical and prejudiced. It can happen to anybody of any age. I agree that the elderly lady in question should’ve been thankful to the teenager, but even if she didn’t, would you start being disrespectful to the elderly in general? The better option is to be understanding that our life experiences shape us – our thoughts and behaviors.

      You’re right in that the young can be courteous and respectful to end the conversation, or some may even chose to reply back – it all depends on the situation, reason, and the person. But we make a general rule about why we should be respecting the elderly because of what I’ve mentioned here and in the post in detail.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts as they spurred my own. Respect is so important in our lives, and it all starts with self-respect, and I hope you’ll agree. Thanks so much for this discussion as that adds value to the post. Have a happy and great Sunday!

  40. JR Riel

    January 9, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Hello Harleena,

    Wow, I can’t tell you how much I LOVED this post. Although I am an American, I was born and raised in Hawaii, in a traditional Hawaiian or Polynesian culture, where our elders are held with deep respect and high regard. I found it so refreshing to hear your viewpoints on why this is such an important thing to always keep doing. Through my travels around the world, I have learned, like you, that there are many different ways of showing respect to elders, depending on what culture you are in. But yes, the bottom line is that they are given respect, whichever way that translates to in whatever culture you find yourself in. They are the ones who came before us, without them, we would have no roots, no beginning, no soul, and no understanding of who we are and where we come from. Thanks again for this wonderful post!

  41. Meena

    March 5, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    your parents are the ones who brought you into the world, you should love and appreciate them as much as you can because one day they will be gone. But if disagreements has happened then try your best to be respectful and civil whilst your still living under their roof. Remember that some people have what it takes to be a mother and some people don’t, we’re all different. Also, your parents can act so annoying at times but they only do things to care and protect you !!




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Read more posts in the category: Family & Parenting




Why You Should be Respecting the Elderly

by Harleena Singh time to read: 8 min