by Patrick Liew on August 16, 2019

International Day of Older Persons, 1 October 2018

I am grateful to the elderly living in our midst.

They did their part to build the world around us and we are enjoying the fruits of their labour.

Without them, including our parents or grandparents, we will not be alive.

They looked after us and made it possible for us to live our lives.

When we were young, dependent and vulnerable, many of these elderly lent their hands to look after us.

Provide the food we need, clothe and protect us, and look after our every need.

Contributed to developing a conducive environment around us.

Built up our communities, economy, and country.

And passed on sound philosophy and values to us.

They are an important conduit of wisdom, the application of which can help us to live and live well.

Unfortunately, many of us have closed our minds.

We have not been the most diligent in soliciting nuggets of wisdom from them.

Someday, many will fully understand what that meant when we try to pass on some of our nuggets of wisdom to the next generation.

When our eyes are open, we can see true beauty in every elderly – not the kind of beauty that has oftentimes been distorted by the commercial world.

With open ears, we will realise their stories are melodies of a different genre. These melodies can nonetheless be just as captivating and enriching.

No matter how educated, smart or accomplished we are, there are more lessons that they can teach us.

They can highlight virtues and warn us of dangers to put us on track to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

They have a wise teacher that has spent more time with them than us.

That teacher is Professor Experience.

Experience can impart many valuable lessons in life and these lessons may not be taught in a classroom.

Fortunately, they can be transferred to us through our elders.

How can we repay our parents and the elderly who have helped us directly or indirectly in our life?

How can we return a debt of gratitude to people of their generation?

When we meet an elderly person, remember they are somebody’s parents and loved ones.

What if they are our parents, how will we treat them?

What can we do for them that we hope others will to do for our parents?


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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