October 1: International Day of Older Persons
They are supposed to have greener days after raising a family and giving their family members a life of their own.
Different societies and cultures have different sets of values, societies dominated by joint families, societies dominated by nuclear family, societies in transition with breaking families and societies becoming more and more individualized must have one thing in common, the responsibility to give comfortable days to our senior citizens, our elders.
That is an idealist statement. It is like what it should be.
But it is not like it.
Here in India, in our societies, with eroding (or changing) value systems, the insecurity to the lives of our elders is becoming a an epidemic that we have not been able to assess so far, or we are conveniently pushing it to not be heard, because those who have to asses it are too busy in assessing and working on their own lives.
Mother Teresa had spoken way back in 1979 during her Peace Nobel lecture about this poverty that was besetting out society.
A poverty that makes every other possession immaterial, emptying people of the will to live further, but not to die either, to pass the days, and not living them, to look for the vain hope that someday the burden of poverty will reduce and will subsequently ease, that someday someone will come and say, see, I have come here to repent, to give you what is rightfully yours, to take the pledge that I will try honestly to compensate for what I have done, what I have taken away from you, because what I have done can never be undone, and they will embrace the offer, with an unsurpassed joy, as if nothing had never happened.
That is our elders. That has been their lives all across, in all our societies that make for the pluralistic Indian society, always giving, expecting nothing, but an emotional shelter in the prime of their lives. They give us all, even their lives, for the lovable words they believe are there to care of them, are there to be attentive to them.
And what we are doing, the products of hyper-competitive societies pushed to the edges of extreme selfishness, where we don’t see or refuse to see beyond our individual lives.
We are creating a value -set – we are becoming the parts of a system – that is fast eroding and humiliating what has been the base of our lives, for ages, since the known history of the Indian civilization.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/