LETTER: Lost respect for our elders

Reminiscent about those Saturday mornings on the lake telling the old guy, in a 7-year-old voice, “You have to put the worm on first, Grandpa, before you throw the line in the water.” Pause for chuckle, because the normal response was, “I know, I’m just keeping you on your little toes.”

What about those golden nuggets of advice that seem endless, but never annoying? Society 40-50 years ago revered the elders in the community as a matter of commonplace respect! Today’s social climate is canvassed with a new-age arrogance that gives new meaning to narcissism! Once a treasured voice of reason and calm in the storm, the significance of gray hair as wisdom has sadly evolved into “the old fart who can’t drive and keeps wetting himself.”

The truism in rites of passage should render an unfolding of self, revealing a cultivated purpose of charmed wisdom from those who paved the way. The elderly are the architects of harmonious social climates and predecessors to morality and care-giving, but contemporary culture inundates us fashionably by ostracizing our beloved elderly with first-class reservations to the old folks’ home.

Has our hedonistic, fast-paced society reached a threshold allowing us to entertain cognitive mechanisms of insensitivity and lack of compassion to care for royalty that took care of us?

I believe we are living in a “stonewashed” culture plagued by a millennial social credo of entitlement, that has sadly corrupted the true potent serum of education and love that was freely and compassionately handed down by our elders!

Dr. Dennis Walter Smith Sr., Seneca Falls, N.Y.

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