Letter to the Editor

How would you like to be treated when you’re old?



Comedian Rodney Dangerfield used to start his routine with the line, “I get no respect.” He could easily have been speaking about old people. It certainly fits, but no one is laughing.

Aging is inevitable. Everyone gets old. Yet, the world focuses on the young. News, music, movies, et al are geared toward youth. One exception, however, is the proliferation of those pesky ads pushing meds for seniors suffering numerous maladies. Otherwise, oldsters are forgotten or disregarded, just background noise in the shadows.

Much like when we were kids, we never listened to adults and their ‘stupid’ advice, a universal childhood reaction.

As a society, we haven’t grown up; we continue to ignore our elders. Native American culture, however, reveres elders. They are held in positions of high esteem. It’s an incredible culture where the elders are respected and honored for their knowledge. Not the case with the rest of society. The aged are shunted aside as if they need to get out of the way. They are treated as a footnote, an afterthought, whose best days have passed.

Is this the way it should be? Not at all. So, consider, if we want to be respected and honored when we’re older, then we must lay the groundwork by respecting and honoring the elders we meet in our lives today. How we treat them today is the way we’ll be treated later. Ponder that concept.

Fred Yancey, Olympia


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  • olyhiker

    I am happy that your experience with Native American culture is positive. Wish I could say the same.

    Friday, April 29 Report this