More and more often I end up witnessing different forms of disrespect, especially of the young towards 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 do them are proud of themselves “for setting them straight,” directly or indirectly encouraging this behavior.
To me as a young woman it seems so low-minded 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 on their phone and “don’t notice” those around them. And on top of that, when someone asks them or remarks to them about their behavior, very upset and surprised that someone dared to bother them, they also say something like “I bought a ticket just like you,” “who will give me their place when I’m old?” or “if you didn’t give up your seat when you were young, your legs wouldn’t be so tired now!”
What does all this mean? Where will we end up with such attitudes? Where is the respect, the understanding, the 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 poor excuses for not going outside their comfort zone to do something nice, humane.
In addition to the unwritten moral rules, in addition to the good upbringing we call “7 years at home,” remember that even the Bible teaches us to love our neighbor. To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your might and love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.” (Mark 12: 30-31). In fact, the Scriptures tell 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).
So, the next time you have to deal with the elderly, think that in a similar situation it could be your parents, and in a few years it may be you. And don’t forget, you can’t say that you respect God, if you don’t respect those around you!
Translated by Didina Vicliuc