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Sunday, March 24, 2013

The elderly are the seat of wisdom in society

One thing we learn as medical professionals is that elderly people have a lot to offer society.  Senior citizens are among the most valuable resources we have for our young people.  I say this knowing that most young people shun old people and think all of them have Alzheimers and should be ignored.  They laugh at old people as though they don't know what they're talking about. 

This is because elderly people have learned from years on this earth what is the best way of living, and what is the worse way of living.  Most old people are very conservative, and are rock solid in their beliefs.  Most old people know that society changes, often on a whim,  yet our Constitution and our Churches, and our Faith, never change.  People leave the Church, but the Church never leaves the people. People ignore the Constitution, but the Constitution is always there.  People leave Jesus, often forget about him altogether, yet he is still there, unchanged, and undaunted.

Old people are this way.  Of course, young people throw the elderly away and they laugh at 'em, old-fashioned fuddy-duddies, don't know what they're talking about. To the young, every old person has Alzheimer's. To the young, every old person has Parkinson's.

Our new Pope, Pope Francis, said that the elderly are the seat of wisdom in any society. And by all means, he is an old man now at 76 years of age.  We may not agree with all his opinions, but we really should respect him as we should respect all of our elderly people, as they often have lots of wisdom about life to share with us. 

Young people tend to be more liberal, and as people age they tend to be more conservative.  I'm not referring to politics either, I'm talking about life in general.  Elderly people realize that there's more to life than having fun and socializing, and there's more to life than trying to make every person happy.  They realize that it's important to have rock, solid institutions and Constitutions that do not change, that are there to fall back on as society changes on whims and wishes.

That's what wise people have to offer.  As young people, we often get bored of the same old same old.  We want new.  We often don't understand, young people too often don't understand, that there is a reason for tradition, a reason for the Church, a reason for Jesus, a reason for old, boring, ways. 

I remember sitting in Church when I was a kid, bored out of my mind.  Yet I never left Church, and to the best of my ability I tried to pay attention.  I did this not because I wanted to, but because my grandma made me.  Now that I'm older I appreciate what my grandma did for me.  I never could have known then that I would be thanking her now.  And this is just one example of how we must respect, and listen to our elderly. 

We should really appreciate our elderly population more than we do, because it wasn't so long ago a populace would have loved to experience the wisdom of their fathers, and grandfathers, and great grandfathers.  Here, today, we get to do just that.  We have so much wisdom, much of it in nursing homes that we shun and make fun of, but it's there if we so choose to hear it. 

Ironically, my son came home from school the other day, and he said: "Old people are old, boring and nonproductive members of society."  I reminded him that the elderly are the seat of wisdom in any society.  They are the sages who help us get through life by making wise decisions, and by sticking to principles that hold any society together.

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