Elders need more care and love
Mohammad Hussain Khan
Human life can be divided into three principal phases- Childhood, Youth and Old age. The childhood is the supreme period as it is free from worries. The youth is full of enthusiasm, power and health. The old age is associated with maturity, wisdom and ability to understand life better.
This is the age when black hair is replaced by grey hair. The process is inevitable and inherent to human beings. Really beauty is nine days wonder. The youthful attraction fades away. But when grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable down in happy old age. Pension, insurance and other regular schemes start attracting. The children start settling down in life.
They have their own families to care. A person feels happy when he/she looks at his/her prospering family. If the son or daughter is still married, finding a suitable match for him becomes the top priority. Once this responsibility is over, one starts thinking about grand children. One feels not an innocent as a young child and not as exuberant as a young man, but one is at peace with oneself.
Mind does not go after material pursuits one becomes more religious, tolerant and even withdrawn from mundane affairs. It is time when one tends to get closer to God and spends more time in meditation and worship, but at the same time this period is the evening of life. The biggest disadvantage of this stage is that it brings physical weakness and multiple diseases. Sometimes it becomes difficult to cope with them. One feels ignored and isolated when the other family members remain engrossed in their parents.
At this stage one demands caring. This requires a lot of patience, empathy and understanding. Care giving often leads us into a world of love we possibly didn’t know. We all need love no matter how old we are, who we have become, who we are with and what we do. Let us have a regard and reverence for grey haired people as they are the truest form of wisdom.
They teach us respect, preservence and by connecting with them we learn to grow. As they have lived long life, they know life very well. They have been through the ups and downs of life and teach us learn how to face problems. They teach us to look things in a deeper level rather than waddling in the shallow pool. By being with them we learn our identity and discover who we really are.
Through their actions we imbibe good qualities. Through their calmness and serenity they provide us better platform to follow. They teach us value of family relationship and life. We learn as they teach how to love and care, to give, to forgive, to accept, to support and face life. We get an insight into a set of rules and regulations which we can outline for ourselves as we live.
Many seniors get lonely, whether they are retired and no longer have their work social schedule or they have lost their spouse and some friends. Regardless, they still need a rich social circle for happiness as many can get insolated over time which can lead to health decline. It is important to take time to visit them and make sure to listen them as the senior’s words come from a place with many decades of experience. Be polite to them which is a demonstration of respect, seek advice from them, eat together with them and discuss family heritage history and traditions with them.
This will help to bring family members together and strength the ties between generations. If you live too far from them, see them on regular basis, pick the phone and call them. Phone calls are personal way of saying you care. Care giving to grey haired people develops potential and renews oneself esteem. It rewards one in a way, he cannot see however providing the basis for his self development.
It is in place to mention here that grey haired people desire a life with good, health, dignity, economic independence and finally a peaceful death. Let us understand their needs and concerns and lend emotional support to them to keep them Jovial. The Prophet (Pbuh) said, “He is not one of us who does not have mercy on young children, and does not respect elders”. Thus to care for the grey haired who cared for us is one of the highest honours.
(The author is a regular contributor to Kashmir Vision. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)