More and more often I end up witnessing different forms of disrespect, especially from young people toward the elderly. On the street, in transport or in public institutions, at home – these scenes are beginning to be the order of the day. Moreover, those who make them are proud of them “set them straight in”, directly or indirectly encouraging this behavior.
To me as a young woman it seems so shameful when young people, in public transport for example, see elderly people standing and they – very comfortable in chairs, pretend to sleep, look out the window or at their phone and “don’t notice” those around them. And on top of that, when someone asks them or remarks about their behavior, very upset and surprised that someone dared to bother them, they say a line like: “I still bought a ticket like you,” “but who will give me a seat when I’m old?” or “if you didn’t give up your seat when you were young, now your legs wouldn’t hurt!”
What does all this mean? Where will we end up with such attitudes? Where is the respect, understanding, compassion, not to mention love, for those around you? “The old woman was a little grumpy,” “I don’t think she felt so bad,” “she doesn’t have far to go” – these are just lamentable excuses not to step out of your comfort zone and make a nice, human gesture.
In addition to the unwritten moral rules, in addition to the “7 years at home,” remember that the Bible teaches us to love our neighbor:
„and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 NASB).
In fact, Scripture tells us even more specifically to respect the elders:
“‘You shall stand up in the presence of the gray headed and honor elders, and you shall fear your God; I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:32 NASB).
So, the next time you have to deal with the elderly, think that in a similar situation could be your parents, even you may be in a few years. And don’t forget, you can’t say that you respect God, if you don’t respect those around you!
Translated by Liza Birladeanu