Tag Archives: aging

E is for…..Elderly v. Elders

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This entry will be more of my own personal opinion/observation rather than anything “lesson based” or whatever….it may not even be of any true value, but I want to express this nonetheless.

SO, yes, I am quite a bit behind in my entries…Im nowhere near as good at keeping up with these as I thought I would be, but Im hangin in at least. LOL

I think I struggle most because I stress about what the hell to write and all. I look at the screen and my mind goes blank; so blank it’s as if I never read a word in my life and so have no words to share. The Pagan Blog Project I was hoping would help me overcome this horrible writers block I tend to suffer from, but to be honest, the prompts each week are almost more daunting and intimidating than just winging it. It’s so funny, I can sit and “think” a BOOK into existence with great detail, but the second I sit to write my thoughts down they become as intangible as steam from a boiling tea kettle. It gets quite frustrating. The more I TRY to write, the harder it becomes (duh!!) and the more I live in my “dream author” state the more irritable I become. I’ve been stuck for quite some time and had given up (temporarily) on any more entries for now….so it came as some shock when my next blog entry not only popped in my head and wrote itself into existence, but that it SCREAMED at me to get it down on paper….

I was sitting in Logan’s Roadhouse with my daughter on Saturday waiting for our lunch to come. We don’t really get much mommy daughter time just because she’s either playing with her friends or Im “too busy”…..never a good enough reason to not make time for your kids…NEVER. So, anyway, we were having a good day out. I was teaching her how to play rummy with little miniature cards she got from Burger King I don’t know HOW long ago (considering I refuse to eat there anymore), when three people came in a sat down at the table beside us. It was a Gentleman, his Wife and their Mother (don’t know who’s, but they both called he mom). I simply took note and went back to playing cards with my daughter.

It was a few minutes later when they ordered their food that for some reason my attention was turned to them, I think it was something about how the Man teased his Mom about being a “big eater” when all she ordered was a baked potato. The giggle the three shared and the wink he sent to his mom touched me. Then I had this overwhelming need to text my husband and tell him how I was feeling at that very moment…. I felt Love, Admiration, Respect, Honor, Gentility all from observing this couple with their Mother. I told my husband that I hoped we were raising our children in a way that they would love and honor us the same way when we were in that position.

I looked around the restaurant and noticed that over 80% of the patrons were younger generations. There was one elderly couple who walked in before us; the woman slumped over scooting her feet; husband holding her hand tightly to support her while also bearing some of her weight on his feeble thin body. And there was a table of Elderly women sitting together enjoying their lunch and companionship of each other, and maybe one or two other tables. But I began to wonder, where are our Elderly?

On the way home my brain wondered about this observation and the question Elders v. Elderly?, popped into my head. In some circles of our related faiths, I at 32 years of age could be considered an Elder within the community. (I am not nor do I claim to be an Elder either) But, because of my knowledge, my skill, my experience, some may consider me an Elder….and at 32. Why do I put an emphasis on my age when I say this? Because, I feel the terms and respect given to both groups are greatly misjudged, misused and underappreciated.

My definitions: Elderly are the old ones who have lived life and have stories to tell,
experiences to share;
Elders are Wise Ones who have lived life and have lessons to teach, ;

To be an Elder in many religious paths is to be one who holds a “higher” position, or one who has practiced for more thnt a few years. They are one who have become a leader in their community and have gained wisdom with growth and experience. In essence they have done their due time….

These Elders are given great amounts of respect, honor and at times great loyalty. They are listened to, sought out for advice, turned to in matters of “crises” and so on.

Yet, our Elderly are shamed, hidden and locked away as if we as a society fear their deadly disease called Aging.

It is sad to me that those who are considered Elders can, at times, be SO VERY YOUNG. Yes, they may be a powerful young Witch; or have strong leadership skills; or created their own traditions that are thriving and growing by leaps and bounds…..but do they truly deserve to be called Elder? Have they lived the life and racked up the experience points to truly KNOW? I don’t believe so. While we have very wonderfully vivacious, strong leaders who are needed in our communities and in our society, where have they done the work and gained the WISDOM to be considered an Elder? They have not. I have not. I’ve lived a life full of many MANY experiences which have helped me to grow and become more wise everyday. I’ve lived through situations only a few here in our country can relate to; I’ve learned from these experiences; I’ve gained knowledge and skill……but I am not a Wise One who has earned their status as an Elder.

Im not saying all Ederly would be considered Elders either; …..but I do believe our Elderly deserve more love, appreciation and respect. One day, whether we are ever looked to as a Wise One or not, we will all become Elderly and I wish not to be locked away and forgotten as if I had some venereal disease that can be caught by breathing the air I breathe.