International Day of Older Persons, 1 October 2015 (1)

by Patrick Liew on December 28, 2015

We should learn to feel for the elderly. It can be very scary to grow old and to feel the ravages of time on your being.

The elderly can live with fear of suffering from sicknesses. They do not want to be in pain and be a burden to their loved ones.

They can be frightened of being shunned and rejected by people around them. They worry that they will not be given a chance to find meaningful activities and live a dignified life.

At the back of their mind, there is a living nightmare that they may be abandoned. Left to die all alone in a desolated place.

Whether you can feel for them or not,
remember: We, Too, Will Grow Old.

Fast forward into the future: The same troubling thoughts and challenges may also plague us. The same feelings may also eat into our heart.

The good news is: When we look after the elderly, we are also setting an example for the next generation. Someday, when we grow old, they will be inclined to look after us too.

They will feel for us in the same way we felt for the elderly. They will look after us like the way we have done our best to help and support the elderly.

This is the cycle of life that makes us humans. It has not been broken since the beginning of time. We have to make sure that we preserve and enhance the legacy.

There are people who are against looking after the elderly or are not doing anything about it. In the future, they will be thankful that many people are working for their sunset years right now.

When they grow old, they will realise others have been protecting them and fighting for their well being. These people have been securing the evenings of our life.

We will do well to remember that the way we treat our elderly will shape our community and future.

The basic question that we need to ask ourselves is, How do we want our community to be like?

Just as importantly, how do we want to be treated when we are old?

Please allow me to close by asking some critical questions. May they help us to search our soul and ensure that our heart is well and is in the right place.

If the elderly are difficult to deal with, unresponsive, and a potential burden to us, if we don’t look after them, who will look after them? If not us, who?

In the same vein, who will look after us when we become like them?

How should we set an example and teach our children and the future generations about respecting the elderly?

How can we teach them about looking after the elderly so that we will not be abandoned and left to fend for ourselves in the future?

How can we prevent others from disrespecting and ill-treating the elderly and potentially creating a cold and heartless world?

Together, let’s help the elderly  live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

Let’s do everything possible to help them age with pride, dignity and grace.


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

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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