Aging is a process every living creature goes through, including the plants and the trees. We all pass through different stages of life, till finally old age catches up with you, whether we like it or not. Many a times advanced ageing comes with a lot of difficulties such as health issues, difficulty in walking, hearing, lack of proper eyesight, memory loss…. the list is endless.
Some consider aging as a blessing whereas others term it as a bad omen due to the struggles encountered by them. Pope Francis recently urged the elderly people to take it as a blessing as he himself struggles to cope with a bad knee problem that has made walking nearly impossible for our Holy Father. He firmly believes that old people must be considered as a resource for the younger generations and not as a part of today’s “Throwaway culture”. In his message, ahead of the World Day for grandparents and the elderly, our Pope noted that old age is a time of life that isn’t understood even by those who are already experiencing it. He rightly feels that even though it eventually comes with the passage of time, no one actually prepares oneself for old age, and more often than not, it seems to take us by surprise. Let us admit that aging gracefully is more about being healthy and happy than keeping the wrinkles at bay, although it is natural to worry about the challenges that aging can bring. At this ripe age, maintain a healthy lifestyle, surround yourself with people you love and most importantly, do things that bring you joy not forgetting to have a positive attitude as you move on. As we age, our bodies change, our faces most often change and our abilities also change. There are things we can’t stop and have no control over at all. Advising his fellow elderly people, Pope Francis urges them to embrace their advanced ages as a gift of a long life and not lament the diminishment of their strengths or sense of usefulness. He concluded saying ‘Along with old age and white hairs, God continues to give us the gift of life and to keep us from being overcome by evil. Aging is not a condemnation, but a blessing!!!’. A lovely message indeed.
The elderly also need support and a caring attitude from the youngsters, especially in families. Many a times they are misunderstood and uncared by their own children and family members alike. Not surprisingly, the old age homes are full with elderly grandparents and parents, some of whom are counting their last days on earth. Let’s not forget that everyone has to experience this, one day or the other. Be patient and tolerant towards the elderly so that their preparation for their final journey is pleasant for everyone around. Be rest assured, that in doing so, God’s blessings will flow down in abundance.
Until we meet again.