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What happened to Respect Your Elders?

By Katie Steen in Opinion & Politics

It used to be that becoming an elderly person was a very important part of life, and still is in many societies. It used to be that “respect your elders” was actually followed and not just a sarcastic phrase used by adults.

So why is it that we have lost all respect and consideration for elderly people in our society?

It’s possible that the increasing amount of developments in technology and the accessibility of nursing homes and retirement facilities has had some impact, but I also think our values have just been changing.

Although it may seem there is nothing we as teenagers can do to fix this problem (yes, it is important enough to fix), in reality we have a lot of control over the situation. Once we start cleaning up our act and looking towards senior citizens as role models and wise people to listen to, generations after us will follow our lead.

One of the biggest signs of disrespect toward the elderly, although it may not seem like one, is calling older people “cute.” It just seems natural in this day and age to comment on a cute old lady with her knitting and her walker, but if you stop to think, it is rude and disrespectful.

The older people in our lives are the ones who have lived the longest and have the most wisdom to share with us. We shouldn’t speak to them or about them as if they were young children just because they may be physically or mentally less fit than we are.

We have a lot to learn from the elderly, and if we just sit down with them and allow them to share their experiences with us, we are bound to be smarter because of it. We need to take care of them and treat them like the wise, important, and valuable human beings that they are.

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