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Respect For Our Elders
“But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.” 1 Timothy 5:4
I’m feeling nostalgic this evening; having bittersweet memories of childhood summers spent at the feet and apron strings of my grandmothers. I have a letter from Kirk Douglas to thank for it. No, Mr. Douglas did not personally write me, but he did write a beautiful response to an article written by a Vanity Fair contributor. I highly recommend reading it because it contains wisdom that comes only with age.
I’ve always enjoyed listening to my elders. Their rich experiences always transported to a world of yesteryear, moments that have passed and will never be again – for either better or worse. Their stories recalled priceless family history. Their recollections provided first-hand accounts of American history. Their steadfast faith in God left a lasting impression on me.
Our elders are an invaluable resource. Simply put, they have experienced everything we are going through and then some. There is a gentle calmness about them because they know what we, if blessed with old age, will also learn: There is no need to worry. Everything works according to the will of God. So when an elder advises you to be patient, have faith, don’t worry and you think he or she just doesn’t understand the issue, problem or circumstance, stop and remember, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9
My grandmothers have finished their races and are now enjoying their rewards. I cherish my memories of them and I thank them for their love, dedication and example. If you are blessed to still have your grandparents, great aunts and great uncles, take a moment out of your day and visit them. What may initially seem like a sacrifice will become your benefit and a precious memory to share with future generations.
Kirk Douglas's Letter to the Editor, Vanity Fair, September 2011
- Speaking Up: Kirk Douglas Responds | Culture | Vanity Fair
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