REVERENCE FOR THE AGED
In our society we get the impression that only the young can take up space: new things, rapid changes, displacements …
Those who because of their age or disabilities must move at a slower pace or need to have special care, feel immediately overcome, weaker or pushed aside. Simply put, they feel they bother us. It is understood that they are anchored in the past, when we must think that everything has to be planned and thought out with a vision towards the future.
This is the tragic destiny of our aged, insignificantly isolated in care homes. The richness that they possess of knowledge and experience, are not valued or there is no time or tranquillity to appreciate them. We heavily value technological knowledge and very little, perhaps, what wisdom and age gives: often times the frequent suffering aging carries with it escapes us. We forget what they did when we were the ones who needed care.
Claret frequently visited the hospitals and nursing homes. And he had a special preference for some religious congregations which were being founded at the time and who dedicated their principal activities to the care of the elderly and needy.
One positive sign of human awareness of our society is the creation of ramps as an alternative to stairs, so that the disabled or wheelchair bound may have access to more places. But in these cases are we thinking of the elderly or, better yet, of the young disabled person?
Do we get satisfaction, as Claret did, from speaking with an elderly person?