A title of respect used to address an elderly man (South African word). Collins Dictionary
We should have an ‘OOM festival’ to celebrate the elderly.
The OOM festival would be a day to respect our elders, to celebrate their life’s work, and realise their lifetime of experience is a treasure chest of knowledge. The festival would teach children to respect their elders in a world fixated with technology, where human interaction is fading. Gone are the days of gathering around a grandparent or grandfather to hear their tales that teach a moral lesson. In Britain, not enough is being done to promote respect and consequently, the next generation won’t know the wisdom they have to offer, because nobody will be listening to their stories.
The way the elderly have been treated in Britain puts our generation to shame, and abuse within care homes, proves how we, as a nation, are neglecting our responsibilities. You only have to google abuse in elderly care homes to come up with numerous results. Orchid View care home saw families trust in an organisation broken. The abuse went undetected and led to ‘the deaths of five of its elderly residents’. Cases like this makes you realise not all children are being brought up to respect their elders, because if they were, abuse on this scale wouldn’t exist.
Respect for our elders seems to differ in cultures, religion and society. In China, they have a law called the ‘Elderly rights law’, which teaches children to visit their elders regularly and not neglect their responsibilities, perhaps we need such a law. While the Native Americans see elders as the ‘wisdom keepers’ and have done so for generations. Some religious groups have the elderly stay in the family home because the roles reverse when they get older, and the children take responsibility for their parents. Jewish children get taught they have to look after their parents and tend to their ‘physical and psychological needs’ in later years. If other countries and religions can respect there older generation, then we can follow suit.
A yearly OOM festival would show the elderly they do matter; they aren’t just a population statistic. There have been numerous accounts of our neglect: from not acting on reports of abuse, to forgetting them when the Coronavirus struck, and not providing enough protection. The festival would have tea rooms and a tent where older people would tell stories. There would be lectures to parents on taking their children to visit their grandparents often, and how visiting your elderly neighbour for a cuppa is beneficial. There would also be a class teaching people to respect those older when they are out and about, like when you catch public transport, you always give up your seat to someone elderly. The OOM festival would have music celebrating their generation of music, as a way of saying thank you. The elderly have conquered many disasters, and their wisdom is worth more than a five-minute phone call. By looking at history, we can learn from our mistakes by appreciating our elders. Their generation is an interactive library, with archived memories that are waiting to read.
I am challenging myself to write a 500-word post a day for 30 days. I will choose a random word from the dictionary and to make this challenge more complicated; I will use the same word to create posts on Twitter and Instagram. I will create a haiku for twitter and post a photo on Instagram. If the word I choose is too obscure to make a post, I will choose another word.