Bookends of Respect // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

old and youngOur senior citizens are our teachers of values and heritage.

Our children are our leaders of tomorrow.

Both groups are too often disregarded and under appreciated.

In our American culture, the older folks are often shoved aside. Their opinions perspectives are not valued, instead of gleaning from their wealth of wisdom and years of experience, we ignore them and consider their thoughts and ways as “outmoded” or “irrelevant.”

It seems to me that we could all benefit from a good dose of respect for our elders. Overall, we should do a much better job in honoring them. For instance, at group gatherings, they should go first in the food line! Their opinions should be considered.

I encourage you to take some time, sit down, and have a good conversation with somebody from the older generation. Listen to them, and you will learn many valuable lessons from their life experiences.

When a person gets older, the body wears down – but the wisdom builds up. As one old fellow said, “Wisdom is the comb life gives you after you lose your hair!” Why not borrow the comb while you still have hair??

On the other side of the spectrum are little children. Often, they too are disregarded and disrespected. We should not think that the little ones are less important just because they are young and small. They may not understand everything, but their innocence and enthusiasm are an example to the rest of us. Jesus said, “The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”

If you save an adult, you salvage the past. If you save a child, you redeem the future! Our future, to a large degree, depends on the rising generation! We can’t blame them for making a mess of things, if we don’t take the time and effort to train them when they are young. Childhood is the best time to instill values such as faith, character, integrity, kindness, perseverance, and hard work.

When we cave in to peer pressure and allow television and computers to baby-sit our children, we forfeit the future to the values instilled by the entertainment industry.

So, I’m advocating bookends of respect – for the older folks on one end, and the younger folks on the other.

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