Monday, December 05, 2005

Respect of our elders

Loyalty to our elders is to be cherished and cultivated as we grow older under their wing. They bring us into this world and hold our hands through all the difficulties that this life may force us to endure. Many cultures find that elders must be respected and their opinions should be heeded first and foremost. In the Iranian culture, we do not place our parents in nursing homes. They will live with us if we so choose or they will be nearby. In some instances, it is impossible to live close but we will always have our parents and family close in our hearts and on speed dial!

Iranians engage in communal culture. There is a sense of closeness and warmth among family that cannot be denied. Unfortunately, this beautiful attribute has been tainted upon mixing with other cultures.

American culture has many great attributes but unfortunately there is much ageism. Ageism has caused many individuals to place little worth on the opinions of elders or their work. Ageism has led to the nursing home culture, which in many countries would be found to be both disrespectful and unheard of.

And now...I see among Iranians a sense of disrespect which has come about due to improper intermingling of cultures, anger and frustration. I know of an Iranian man who repeatedly ignores the plight of his poor mother. She has given him life and he cannot even help her to gain her bearings now that she is in a state of exhaustion and desperation. I am deeply saddened that this sort of thing has happened to our beautiful mothers. Mothers who gave up their lives and their potential for simpler lives because they wanted to provide their children with the opportunities never afforded to them.

The youth will realize one day that the disregard and contempt that they had for their parents will one day materialize when they themselves have children. Karma always has a way of creeping up on us, one day.

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