As Salaam Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu
Often young people do not really notice the elderly people. They are largely focusing on their own lives, trying to find the right career, get married, look "cool," own a fancy mobile phone or car, or observe the latest trends of fashion. Unfortunately, young people do not always think about those who raised them up and assisted them in facing life challenges and reaching what they are now.
Some young people might say that they are good to their parents, but they never pay any attention to other elderly people who are lonely or neglected. However, because some elderly people do not have children or someone who can look after them and because others have children who do not care, the youth who have good health and energy should fill this gap and be there for those people.
This is significant to keep in mind because one day, we, the young people, will grow old, and if we are not kind now, then maybe when we are older, people will turn their backs to us. At that time, we will know how the elderly feel. In fact, it is so hard to be lonely, especially when one is old.
Sacrifice and Beyond
When the elderly people were young, they had lots of dreams and goals in this life, part of which were to care for their children, us. For this, they worked day and night, saved their money, made many sacrifices, and spent the best years of their lives thinking about us, planning our lives, and helping us to know our way and target.
Maybe some elderly people look at their children and think, "How selfish they are!" Maybe some others say, "How blessed we are to have them!" Think for a while about what the elderly people whom you know think about you. Have you bothered to find out?
Memories and Benefits
If the youth gave the elderly people more of their time, the lives of the elderly would be enriched. If you draw closer to the elderly people, you will be able to benefit from a lifetime experience. You will be able to hear stories and understand different perceptions of life. You will get to better understand the world — how the world came to be the way it is now.
Two years ago, I had the chance to meet my grandmother. I had not seen her since I was about three years old, and I did not really remember her. Then, when I met her after all these years, it was really exciting because she told me about situations, times, and places that I could not even remember. She helped me to comprehend myself a lot better, and she made me feel that I belong to a larger unit — a family.
In fact, if we neglect the families, the elderly, and the poor, our hearts will be like empty shells that cannot feel or sympathize with others in need.
Helping the elderly is not only supporting them financially but also supporting them psychologically, as this is very significant. They need to know that they are still needed, valued, appreciated, loved, and cherished. It is about sitting down and talking to them, asking for advice, and being an active part of their lives.
OK, so you are convinced now and you are ready to help and care for the elderly. But the question that spurs the minds of various youth is "how can we help the elderly?"
Remember that charity begins at home. So, look at your own elderly people in your family. They might be your grandparents, your aunties, or your uncles; start with them, and just try to be nice to them. Remember also that charity can be just a warm smile.
Then there are the elderly people in your community. If you know a lonely old person, go and visit him or her. You can also ask your family to invite him or her for dinner.
Then there are those awful places that are often found in most cities around the world — the old folks' homes. They are most often filled with elderly people whom no one cares about.
The elderly people there might not get any visitors for months and sometimes for years. So, why don't you be the one who visits them? You can also round up some of your friends, buy some nice gifts, and make a visit to them. Although these can be simple and symbolic gifts, they can have a great, positive impact upon their hearts.
Or, if you have a relative in these old folks' homes, go and visit him or her, and while you are there, have a chat with the other elderly people, too.
And now, let me ask you, don't you think that the elderly deserve our mercy and kindness?