The Place of The Elders

The Place of The Elders

I grew up in the time when Elders were revered, accorded their due respect whether they were parents, relatives or just bystanders. So far the person is older, we accorded them respect. The fact that we respected them didn’t mean we agreed with everything they do. Too often we disagreed with their methods, approaches and solutions but most times we pass the message across to them without being rude, insulting or damning.

I read recently on Instagram where a young actress called an old actor “old fool” because the man condemned transgender. The man may be old, primitive and Orthodox but he is no fool. Elders talk based on past experiences and they try as much as possible to avoid situations they have not experienced before. This could be a limiting factor but it could also be a warning signal showing us how far this generation is long gone from the norms.

I believe there are better ways to show our disapprovals especially to elders that does not include being disrespectful.

Growing up, we were made to see elders as demigods that you dare not cross. In fact, we were made to believe that a curse from an elder can not be undone by several prayers. This might be fear pushed to far but this kept us in check. When we disagree with elders, most often we just keep quiet even though we will still do as it pleases us or we find another elder who can make them see things our own way. We don’t go on to disrespect or start hauling insults at them.

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I think it is high time this generation learns that there is the place of the elders; a place of honor, respect and understanding. An adage says “what the elders see while seated, young people can’t see them even if they climb on top of the highest mountain”. Listen carefully to the elders, you don’t have to do as they have instructed but always hear them out.

An outburst is never a way out when you disagree with them. You might have more achievements than them but you do not have more failures and that is where the experience comes from. Most times they love you and they just want the best for you, hoping you would avoid mistakes they made and the confusions those mistakes brought. It is true so many things have changed and somehow they have been left behind, you can find a way to explain to them or just get the lessons they are trying to teach and inculcate that into your final decision.

Don’t be rude to elders, even if they come at you ‘rude’ in the first place. I know this new generation hardly lets things slide but please can we give elders their due respect? Not because you don’t know how to be rude or talk back but because somehow you know there is the place for elders and some day soon you would find yourself there.

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