What are we as senior citizens entitled to?
I am not speaking of social security or pension plans because we have funded them in our working years. I am also not speaking of senior discounts at the movies, the Long Island Rail Road or shops that offer lower prices to seniors.
When our children or grandchildren are dishing out the food at a family dinner, I believe that the elderly should be served first. Instead of first placing the hot soup in front of a 10-year-old, it should be served to grandpa or grandma. Conversation also seems to be centered around the young. Their eating or not eating habits are discussed at great length. Talking about junior's eating habits does not promote intelligent conversation in which all can participate.
Through the decades the venerable have garnered much experience, wisdom and even a few good tales worth telling. Why not occasionally ask the patriarch or matriarch questions that would have meaning to all concerned. The youngsters would enjoy it and the elderly would love to express their thoughts.
Most primitive societies venerate the older people. Our youth-oriented community tends to push them aside in a rush for income and position. The old joke about the mother pining for the long-awaited telephone call from her children is not far-fetched nor a fairy tale.
Health is a major problem for the elderly. Even though the average life span has risen in America, we see diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer's and cancer more frequently in later years.
The first commandment "Thou shalt honor thy father and mother" means taking care of the people that took care of you. Our parents are entitled to consideration and kindness. When infirmity sets in we should rush to their side and give aid and comfort.
Entitlement is not a pleasant word. It implies selfishness and haughtiness. However, the little things mean a great deal to senior citizens. Be kind to them! Be empathetic.