There comes a time when we realize that life does come full circle. My epiphany came when my best friend’s dad moved up to live with her. My memories of him were of a strong, independent man, who would not accept help from anyone. He was the go to person when you needed something fixed or needed help figuring out how to put a toy together. Possessing the gift of patience, he would explain how to make things work and allow you to get your hands dirty and do it yourself.
He was the first to say that “age was only a number, it’s how you feel that counts.” Recently that number caught up with him and he finds himself in a position that he is not comfortable in. He has to ask others for assistance and feels his independence has been altered.
My goal is not to make you feel sorry for him, but to make everyone realize that respect is a small word that means so much. I respect him for all the amazing things that he has accomplished in his life and all the things that he can still teach me. Maybe he has been forced to slow down, but he still is the strong patriarch of the family and is loved by all.
Everyone has, or will have, an aging parent/relative/friend that is proud and still wants to be independent. Respect them for the amazing person that they are and encourage them to accomplish small tasks. Celebrate when they complete them, allowing them to feel a sense of worth and being.
In my early years, I did not realize that respect was such an important thing. My main concern was enjoying life and getting thru college. Now, the circle of life has brought me to a place where I can clearly see how important it is. I find myself in the middle of not young but not old, one could call it mid-life.
When you see an older person in passing, make an effort to stop and say hello. Show them the respect that they deserve and ask how their day is going? Stop and actually wait for their response. They are seasoned from life and have experiences that you may be able to learn from.
Remember the circle of life, treat everyone the way you would want to be treated - with respect.