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Who is an Elder? Responsibilities and qualities of an elder person

BY: moonlight | Category: Family | Post Date: 2009-08-08

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-Elders-, when this word knocks at the door of my mind not an image of an old aged person comes to my mind but there comes an image of an experienced, practical, broad mined and a virtuous person. Though every person interprets this very word according to their knowledge but an elder for me is not being interpreted by the factors like old age and an old physique but someone who possesses various jewels of life experiences, someone who understands and respects the dignity of being an elder and the one who thinks that being an elder is not his/her right but a responsibility.

We generally assert a person as an elder in terms of his/her old age and a person who has a chain of successors(sons, daughter-in-laws, grand children). But a person who has many successors and old age does really deserve to be called as an elder? There are some people who gain an increase in their age and number of successors, but their attitude, personality and efforts do not contribute much to the family and to the society. They tend to make uneasy themselves first and then others by their behavior and mentality. They develop a wrong sense in their minds that they are very high in terms of age and position into the family so they have the right to become authoritative. They strongly believe that only what they say or think is the righteous.

They control the freedom of expression of the younger (includes the adults, adolescents and kids). They do not allow the younger to become responsible and mature. Families like these seem to be very peace less and the younger feel restricted and trapped. The so called elders obstruct the growth of the younger due to their false attachments and ego.

I personally and strictly do not like to call these above kinds of people as the elders. These sorts of people become more of an object of fear, criticism and burden. Frankly younger do not enjoy to live with these kind of people at all; who always tend to misuse their age factor and their higher position into the family.

An elder person must be someone with a broad perspective who actually understands the importance of his/her old age and old position into the family. For him/her the age should not be a mark of domination but it should reflect his/her deep experience of life that motivates the successors to lead a good and a peaceful life. An elder must respects the role of each of the younger in the family and surroundings. Elder must be a person who becomes helpful whenever any young needs a careful advice rather than the younger feel fearful even in uttering a word in front of him/her.

An elder person is a building block of a family who narrates the nature of the life to his successors without demoralizing them to gain their own experience on their own terms. A true elder exhibits great values and creates a healthy; social, spiritual and personal relationships with everyone. A true elder would lead his/her life with dignity and confidence. He would not like to expect and to be dependent on somebody. And these great values would automatically be transferred to his/her successors which would make the elders more dignified and modest in front of the younger. An elder is an ideal when needs to give advice, encouragement and teach and the elder is a child when needs to enjoy with the kids and the toddlers in the family.

When these kinds of elders would lead a family, no doubt that the youngest of that family would continue the family values at their best and they also would become great elders at their old age. Elders like this would not need to scold and to beg for concern in front of their younger rather the younger would die to give care and love to these elders. An elder person possessing the higher virtuous values, dignity, confidence and courage actually deserve to be called an -Elder- and they truly deserve respect from the young ones.

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Comments on this article: (2 comments so far)

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Nice one moonlight
We in USA have so different way of bringing up our kids than you have in India. Even though we try to be role models too, the system of joint family is especially good for older people who feel more secured later in life. Both cultures have their own advantages. Nice one !
Tim 2009-08-08
virutes would remain forever
yes dear i know there is a big difference between the up bringing of children in USA an here in INDIA. i have one of my client in USA who left her home just in the age of 16yrs whereas in India parents become over considerate towards their children when they turn to 16 yrs.... but still i feel whether children live with the elders or apart, the good qualities in elders should always be reflected in their attitude.
jyotsna 2009-08-08

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