Respect Your Elders

Now that I am nearing 50, I am beginning to hear Ma’am instead of Miss. A young man offered me his seat on the bus. Do I look feeble? Yet, the opposite is true as well. I see young people treat the elderly disrespectfully or hear them regard age as something to fear rather than respect.

This Irish story all too well presents the universal lesson that is the responsibility of the young to take care of their elders.
The Story of the Half Blanket (abridged)
There was a farmer and his new wife who lived in a small house that was barely big enough for the two of them and the farmer’s father. When the baby was born, the farmhouse was much too crowded for all. The farmer became irritable and rude to his father complaining of all he did.
One day the farmer came home to announce his Da would be taken to the poorhouse the next morning, that his wife should prepare him for the move, and that Da could take with him the comforter she had made for their wedding bed.  The wife was aghast at what her husband said. The father was resigned to leave the homestead knowing his son needed room for his growing family.
A wee voice could be heard from the cradle. “Mother, only give half the blanket for I will need the other half to give my Da when it is my turn to send him to the poorhouse.” All was silent. The young farmer thought upon the words realizing the wisdom. “Father, I apologize. You may stay here all the rest of your days.” The word poorhouse was never used again.
Although humorously taught, it is a lesson well learned. It is wise to respect one’s elders even if they are only nearing 50.