A culture’s wisdom resides in its grey fringe 

your say March 13, 2019 01:00

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Occasionally I reminisce about those Saturday mornings on the lake telling the old guy, in a seven-year-old voice, “You have to put the worm on first, Grandpa, before you throw the line in the water.”



Pause for a 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 commonplace respect! Today’s social climate is canvassed with a new-age arrogance that gives fresh meaning to narcissism! Once denoting treasured voices of reason and calm in the storm, the significance of grey hair has sadly evolved into “the old farts who can’t drive and keep wetting themselves”.

The sage words of elders often reveal a wisdom cultivated by those who paved the way. The elderly are the architects of harmonious social climates and predecessors to morality and care-giving. But contemporary culture ostracises our beloved elderly with first-class reservations to the old folks’ home. Has our hedonistic fast-paced society crossed a threshold where we lack the sensitivity and compassion to care for the royalty that took care of us? I believe we are living in a “stone-washed” culture plagued by a credo of entitlement, which has sadly corrupted the education, love and principles that were freely and compassionately handed down by our elders.

Dr Dennis Walter Smith Sr