|One black haired, one silver
But both with gold in their hearts
An alert and focussed brother who emigrated with my sister to Australia more than 50 years ago is now in his mid 70’s.
The foundations he laid for a loving respectful family will act as a buffer against the corrosive influence of bad behaviour, whether as a result of the IS, or locally inspired.
What society thinks about elders depends upon culture.
In Korea and China, the regard for ageing is rooted in the in the Confucian principle of filial piety, a fundamental value dictating that one must respect one’s parents.
In India, the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, elders are invariably the head of the household, whose advice is sought before any major family decision is made.
Similarly, the ancient Romans made use of their elderly and had faith in their wisdom and experience. Cicero said “For there is assuredly nothing dearer to a man than wisdom, and though age takes away all else, it undoubtedly brings us that.”
Not always of course, for Alzheimer’s doesn’t.
But in the capitalist cultures of Europe, Australia and North America, though nominally Christian, the reality is usually far from Jesus’s teachings.
I spent some time in W.A. in the 1990’s, and remember riding as pillion passenger on “little John’s” motorbike (the John between these two).
This was when John’s grandson was just a star in the sky.
But what an articulate tribute you wrote, John.