Remembering them prepares others to remember us
By now, most of you know of my involvement in the Bring Smiles to Seniors program. In a country so great with riches and opportunity, we still have to be reminded of the importance of taking care of our seniors, those that paved the way for us so that we could have a better future. From the people of the Mayflower and the founders of our great country to civil rights icons like Rosa Parks, all became seniors that worked to make our lives just a little bit better. Yet, somewhere along the way we have become a society so consumed with youth and manufactured beauty that we have lost our respect for the gracefulness of the aging process and the need to take care of those that have reached those years.
In my travels though senior communities over the years I have seen those that were lucky enough to have families continue to be involved in their lives. At the same time, I have have seen plenty of people that were secluded to those four walls and did not receive visitors, cards, birthday or anniversary reminders and even those that have managed to outlive their entire families. Individuals that need love and compassion most were some of the ones that received it the least. It is as if once we reach a certain age we are assumed to be on the road to the end anyway, so spending money, resources and time on those individuals is considered a waste. An unfortunate situation.
In many other cultures, seniors are not only remembered, they are revered. When I lived in Turkey the senior was the most important part of the household. In any room, they always sat nearest the door to the outside in case there was an emergency so that they were the first to safety. In some places in Europe some nursing homes are created like cities so that seniors can be a part of what is considered a normal environment. In Asia seniors are almost considered deities that are revered and celebrated. Unfortunately, while there are pockets of our society that do great things for seniors, getting funding and resources to make their lives better in their golden years is a fight and a struggle, even when many spend the last of their means to ensure that their families have a brighter future.
We all have the power to make a difference. Each and every one of us not only has a senior as a part of our lives at some moment along life’s path, we will also eventually become one of those seniors. Unfortunately, by that point our power to make change diminishes while the power of the next generation focuses on taking care of themselves. Use the power you have today to make the difference in a senior’s life. Do one thing special for someone in your family, a senior you are associated with or one you don’t even know. If we do that one by one it will grow exponentially and once again those generations that deserve our attention will get that reminder that they are loved.
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.
Mornings with Ron is now available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple and Google Podcast, Spotify and most podcast sites.