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Respecting our elders - blessing or liability?

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posted on Aug, 20 2010 @ 08:47 PM
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Particularly in this month of reflection and meditation, this is one question that bugs me:
How far should we go in respecting our elders?
The faiths based on the Old Testament are actually commanded to honor and respect their elders. In many others the elders are close to the "ancestors", and command similar obedience.
But firstly, what is an elder? Now that people are living longer, elders may be increasingly seen as a drain on social security. Laws on legal retirement ages are being reworked, and "elders" in their 60s may themselves still having living elders in their 80s and 90s.

Should elders be obeyed to the letter?
Even if they bring us chauvenistic notions from a more politically incorrect past?
How can we reconcile religious injuntions to obey them, and make our own lives?

From how many countries can people still say that they trust the state to care for our elders?
Generally I can say that black, Muslim and Hindu people care much more for their elders than the white Christians. In fact the "old age home" seems in many ways a Western institution. It furthermore seems like an institution that is no longer sustainable without family input.

[edit on 20-8-2010 by halfoldman]




posted on Aug, 20 2010 @ 09:10 PM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 

Here in SA the pension and retirement issues came to a head last year, when the legalities were challenged as sexist.
The retirement age of women was 60, and for men 65 (despite the fact that women live longer on average).
It was brought to 60 (I think, rather surprisingly, for both genders).
www.mg.co.za...

However, the fact is that most former middle class pensioners cannot survive on their plans or savings.
Then there is the issue of "boomerang kids", adult children who've left but are suddenly forced to return to the parental home.

I wonder if other cultures are feeling those harsh realities too?
And the whole anxiety over "inheritance" and governments taking most of it in taxes.
And then we have the whole issue of people suddenly having the right to sue family members for maintenance.
It's led to some ugly situations, and some elders probably wish they never had kids.



[edit on 20-8-2010 by halfoldman]



posted on Aug, 20 2010 @ 09:16 PM
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I am fast approaching being an elder and no being old has nothing to do with wisdom. I have met very few wise men (or women). Whether or not something is politically incorrect or not is irrelevant. Political correctness has nothing to do with what is actually correct anymore than ancient dogma does. There are many old rules that have value. Know thyself, all things in moderation, to thine own self be true. Those are ancient values and nothing to do with politically correct rules and social mores. Of course it was inevitable that you would get in a slam on white Christians. The establishment of old age homes came about from many factors. Not the least was industrialization of the west.


Originally posted by halfoldman
Particularly in this month of reflection and meditation, this is one question that bugs me:
How far should we go in respecting our elders?
The faiths based on the Old Testament are actually commanded to honor and respect their elders. In many others the elders are close to the "ancestors", and command similar obedience.
But firstly, what is an elder? Now that people are living longer, elders may be increasingly seen as a drain on social security. Laws on legal retirement ages are being reworked, and "elders" in their 60s may themselves still have living elders in their 80s and 90s.

Should elders be obeyed to the letter?
Even if they bring us chauvenistic notions from a more politically incorrect past?
How can we reconcile religious injuntions to obey them, and make our own lives?

From how many countries can people still say that they trust the state to care for our elders?
Generally I can say that black, Muslim and Hindu people care much more for their elders than the white Christians. In fact the "old age home" seems in many ways a Western institution. It furthermore seems like an institution that is no longer sustainable without family input.



posted on Aug, 20 2010 @ 09:31 PM
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reply to post by pacific_waters
 

Well regarding the "white Christian" comment - that is true for us here in SA.
The apartheid state really cared for white people (at the expense of others). It's documented. People left home and never saw their parents again, and simply had them put in an institution.
For the black population their children and grandchildren were their security - there were some homes and they did get some pensions, but they were never as dependant on the state in that respect. Arguably, that's why they had more children by far.
The Hindu people in SA still hold that against us - they always had several generations living in one household.
Ironically, even in Germany I hear that Muslim people are visiting and caring for the old people, at least much more so than their own families.

Of course I'm not saying that there is something endemic in Christianity to create this situation. It's probably forces outside religion that have encouraged it, yet "generally" I feel my observation is true.
Western, white "Christian" society is lacking in it's care for the aged, when compared to other faiths.
However, economic realities are forcing us to challenge that?



posted on Aug, 20 2010 @ 09:46 PM
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I am 63, I have some health issues but I can still take care of myself, drive and I live with a friend that is the same and we help each other. I have moved 300 miles away from my family - my daughter is wonderful but with the grandkids and all the drama they bring around I felt I was better off not being there. I have told my daughter when I get to the point that I am a burden to not hesitate to put me in a facility. I have had great conversations with my daughter and have passed on what wisdom that I have and I continue to do so from time to time. I think if the right place is chosen for me I will be taken care of appropriately. When I go to the Dr now or to the hospital I am treated with respect and my needs are met - this cannot be always be done in a home environment. And I know those closest to my heart will visit, what more could ask for.



posted on Aug, 20 2010 @ 09:46 PM
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I am 63, I have some health issues but I can still take care of myself, drive and I live with a friend that is the same and we help each other. I have moved 300 miles away from my family - my daughter is wonderful but with the grandkids and all the drama they bring around I felt I was better off not being there. I have told my daughter when I get to the point that I am a burden to not hesitate to put me in a facility. I have had great conversations with my daughter and have passed on what wisdom that I have and I continue to do so from time to time. I think if the right place is chosen for me I will be taken care of appropriately. When I go to the Dr now or to the hospital I am treated with respect and my needs are met - this cannot be always be done in a home environment. And I know those closest to my heart will visit, what more could ask for.



posted on Aug, 20 2010 @ 09:47 PM
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Whoops - is a double post a sign of old age, lol.



posted on Aug, 20 2010 @ 10:03 PM
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reply to post by crazydaisy
 


Thanks Daisy,
Of course 63 is young for an elder by today's standards.
Just wondering, in your thoughts for the future, is the facility where you live private or state-run? Would the distinction even be an issue in your country?

I know that in US media like "The Golden Girls" or "Seventh Heaven", one constant trope is the fear and refusal of the elderly to lose their independance in a "facility". Those are pretty old sitcoms, but that fear in everyone is there.



posted on Aug, 20 2010 @ 10:08 PM
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I will always respect the elders and maybe many have not gained an enormous amount of esoteric wisdom, but just for having lived on this earth as long as they have, I will give them my respect. AND as far as being a drain on Social Security, they have paid into that fund, since working age and they deserve it. It's not their fault that the fund has been depleted by TPTB to dig their underground tunnels and shelters and fund a senseless war.



posted on Aug, 20 2010 @ 10:17 PM
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Before we had a nanny state families took care of their own. That included their parents and disabled family members.

The last 100 years its been a little more than obvious the debasement of the family centered unit be it from the big screen to our monetary system and us the populace unawares yet complicate that are slowly being nudged into the direction of complete division even from the blood that bore us.

Its a bit tougher to take care of our families elderly/disabled or not now adays however it can be done and should be.

A man that turns his back on his family because of monetary issues is no man at all.



posted on Aug, 20 2010 @ 10:27 PM
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I was just doing some more research on clips and links, and the following clip of elderly abuse in Baltimore has me frozen in shock.
We've seen child abuse, even animal abuse with strong reactions on ATS, but what of elder abuse?
OK call these incidents isolated, but one suspects that they are simply the tip of the iceberg for what happens to people whose voices become subaltern.
But isn't this where we are all headed, if we follow the health gurus and live too long?

In any case, this is disgusting, and it's in a 1st World country!
www.youtube.com...

See also:
www.youtube.com...


[edit on 20-8-2010 by halfoldman]



posted on Aug, 20 2010 @ 10:29 PM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 


I live in a regular house right now in the US - Indiana actually. Most likely when the time comes for me to move from the house I live in I would go to a state run nursing home if necessary. Right now I am having a wonderful time. I get sick once or twice a year but always seem to bounce back I feel better than when I was 40. I made a change in my life 2 years ago and it has made a lot of difference in my life. I sold a lot of my personal furniture and items - it began to feel burdensome - divorced my alcoholic husband got away from my deliquent grandkids. Stress plays a big factor in the way one feels. I am on limited income but with the help of my friend we manage. Life is good! Thank you for your response.



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 12:33 AM
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I'm 55 right now and I plan on working till I drop. When turned 50 AARP started bombarding me with offers to join. I relented two years ago and it was a mistake. Then they started bombarding me with offers for auto-insurance,health insurance,life insurance,etc. I let the membership expire. I respect my elders. My grandmother is 95. She's in a nursing home on the Canadian side of our territory. She sleeps most of the time. We visit on special occasions, share a meal with her. She's always pleased to see every one. After the festivities are over she'll say to one of her daughters, my mother or one of my aunts, that she's tired and would like to back to her room. We say Onen ki wa he. It means "Until we meet again."



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 12:42 AM
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reply to post by alonzo730
 

Isn't this whole industry around age (and constructing "retirement age") quite frightening?
I sometimes see what my folks are bombarded with - from insurences to retirement village idealizations.
I sometimes think it's worse than what teens and kids are marketed with.
And I think it adds to people's insecurities and anxieties when they can't afford these options.
Even in the 1980s it wasn't like that.




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