The changing times
There was a time when the elder of the house was considered as the decoration of the roof and yard of the house, he was a treasure of virtues. Respect and hospitality were the hallmarks of the elders. The children did not leave the house without consulting the elders or seeking advice or blessings. Respect and love in the home helped to raise the children well. There was a common family, a common roof and a common fireplace, and it was not known when the children would grow up to get married and listen to the words of their grandparents.
The situation is quite different in today’s progressive society, where children have followed in the footsteps of Western culture in marginalizing their elders. Families are falling apart, daughters-in-law are being pushed into courts, and children are taking refuge in orphanages and old age homes.
Children are falling prey to drugs due to neglect of elders due to material race and negligence on the part of children. Parents who are busy in the economic race are losing their responsibilities towards their children. Today, parents are spending more and more money to provide for their children, but they do not have the time they need.
On the other hand, today’s young generation is not ready to listen to the advice of parents or elders under Western influences. They do not like counseling because of their independent mindset, but they forget that not only education but also the experience of the elders is important. Children may be distracted by youthful zeal, but it takes both enthusiasm and conscience to maintain social dignity.
If parents keep their distance from the elders, the children will do the same to them tomorrow. For a bright future for children, it is important for the elderly to have their hands on the children’s heads.
Elders are attached to their values, and adapting them to changing circumstances may be difficult, but not impossible. They can be counseled with love and respect, not out of anger or resentment. They also can’t stand the nagging of their sons and daughters and get angry. So let’s understand their feelings and at the same time realize that we have to go through the same stage tomorrow. Our parents have the same expectations that we have of our children. Remember our childhood when we needed parents step by step and now parents need us.
There is a tradition all over the world to celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, but how? The children call their parents once a year or visit the old age home. While celebrating this day means remembering the sacrifices and love of parents, giving them due love and respect, parents do not ask for gifts, they ask for closeness. What will our children take care of us if we cannot take care of our parents?
Today there is a need for joint families, the warmth of relationships and good manners, which children should inherit. Undoubtedly due to financial constraints children have to stay away from parents, there are work problems, time is scarce, but let’s not forget that the greatest need today is a bright future for the new generation, care, good culture and children.
Don’t ignore the elders for selfish reasons; don’t leave them to roam in the old age home. Parents help to create a comfortable home environment, to make them aware of the importance of relationships, to keep them connected with social and moral values, which will create a healthy society and alleviate old age homes.
It is common to see that the elderly who are living at home are suffering from loneliness. When a son is born at home, the feet of the parents do not rest on the ground, but today the same parents are a burden to the children.
They are interrupted by conversations. By getting the property in their name, they are shown the way to the old age home. Even there, they are shocked to hear of their mistreatment. The real age is after the age of 58, when the elders want to breathe a sigh of relief when they retire, but the children consider them old ruins and put them to bed in the store or under the stairs.
The same children serve the saints outside, but the old age of the parents plays a role. As a result, many older people lose their mental balance. After death, the same children spend millions of rupees to make a big party for public appearances – what a shame. Instead of spending on ceremonies, today we need to bless the elderly, give them a happy pension, give them physical fitness, use respectful words and take wise, prudent experience from them, earnestly and kindly. Seek advice so that they can feel the freshness of flowers in old age and have a wealth of blessings for children.
In such a situation, governments and NGOs should come forward as there are senior citizen clubs, organizations abroad, community centers where efforts are being made to alleviate the loneliness of the elderly.
Though with the passage of time, the thinking of the elderly is also changing. Citizens’ clubs or city welfare organizations are being formed in the cities of India, the members of who are retired government or non-government employees visit parks or recreational places. They enjoys old age, attend mehfils, celebrates birthdays and contributes to alleviating the loneliness of the elderly by organizing social reform camps, but these efforts are still a piece of cake.
Elders are also advised to understand their children’s compulsions, to cooperate in everything, to be patient, to speak kindly, to speak calmly, not to interfere with talk or extra, and to adjust their thinking according to the situation. Change so that the house remains a paradise and the number of old age homes does not increase.
(The author is a Retired Principal based at Malout in Punjab)