They carry the bumps, bruises and scars of life. Daily reminders such as wrinkles, white or graying hair and age spots show up in their mirrors. They are the telltale signs that age is rapidly catching up with once robust and youthful bodies. The wrinkles are reminders of those difficult times – the Purple Heart of life's battles – and the graying hair is symbolic of the wisdom obtained over the years – life's Medal of Valor.
Thankfully, for most, it takes a while for the aging process to overtake the thought process in which dwells precious memories and wisdom that should be shared with generations to come. Too often, that is not the case. Some who have long outlived their so called physical usefulness are put out to pasture sort to speak in lonely isolation – whether home alone or the confines of a sometimes uncomfortable nursing home setting.
“Children are our most important resource – our future.” While true, it has become somewhat of a hack cliché. Aren't our seniors also an important resource to this country? If our children are our future, then certainly our seniors are our treasured past.
We frequently pay tribute to our soldiers who paid great sacrifices and fought in terrible battles so that you and I can experience this thing we call freedom. And we should pay homage to these great, unselfish people. However, there are battles being fought in every day life. Mothers struggle against great odds to raise their children. Fathers spend most of their lives working to provide for their families. Shouldn't the people who weathered the storms of life be honored for their efforts?
A new generation has taken control of our great nation. They come with various labels “thirty-something” “Generation X” and “Yuppies.” But basically, they are cut from the same mold, “I got it made but I just don't know it.” Of course, poverty still exits. The Lord tells us in The Bible that the “Poor you will have with you always.” Generally speaking, young people today don't really know what it is to do without what they want and I am not just talking about the essentials – food, clothing and shelter.
There was time when young people took advantage of and drew from the wisdom of their parents and grandparents but rarely is that the case today. Opinions from seniors are considered antiquated or useless. Young people fail to realize that the successes of the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of their generation stood firmly on the backs of the successes of the previous generations. Without Alexander Graham Bell having invented the telephone there certainly wouldn't be any “Information Superhighway.” If Thomas Edison hadn't come up with the idea of the phonograph there would be no MP3 players. The list goes on and on.
As the years begin to creep up on me, I find myself repeatedly attempting to draw on the wisdom of Mom and Dad. When it comes to my own kids and grandchildren, I frequently ask myself “Now what would Mom or Dad do in this situation?” Over the years I have prayed for wisdom and I am sure that God has granted it. I am just not sure whether or not I apply it properly.”
Page 2 of 2 - Here is a little bit of advice I would like to pass on to the current generation. Unless some terrible tragedy besets you in life, you will find yourself in the position of a senior. As the years pass, the pages of the calendar fly away faster and faster it seems. Give flowers and honors to the living while they can enjoy the gift.
Never, never, never loose respect for those that fought life's tough battles long before you came along. It was they that passed on the most important aspects of this life and what makes this nation so great – the love of God, the love of country and the love of family.
Lose respect and you loose your perspective.