Tuesday, November 18, 2008


“Honor thy father and mother, that the days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God has given you.” We have all heard this commandment. The concept of honoring or respecting one’s elders has been with us for a long time, even though it has fallen into neglect lately. The reason it has become less followed is that modern people intuitively see the one sidedness of the commandment. It is a law obviously written and encouraged by the elders. To understand the injustice of the law, we must look at its underlying meaning. What it is really saying is: children, respect the qualities that come with age, the qualities of experience and wisdom.

But, what of the qualities of youth? Qualities such as enthusiasm and naivete? And how about the qualities of middle age, such as strength and confidence? The point is, that there are beautiful strong qualities in every stage of life we live, and these qualities should all be honored and respected. The qualities we respect and honor are the parts of God that we worship. Though they change over the generations, they are always the qualities that contribute to the survival and growth of the human species. They are the qualities we wish to strengthen and manifest in ourselves, and nurture in our children. Let us see the holiness of the qualities of all age groups in our society, and not just the elders. They all add strength and beauty to the whole.

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