This I Believe

Krystle - Las Vegas, Nevada
Entered on June 22, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, love, respect
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Respect Your Elder

Just before my Grandmother passed away, my entire family was at a theme park prior to it being closed down. I was so excited to go on the white water rapids, and of course, I dragged my family along for the ride. Everyone had climbed into the boat except my Grandma. See, my Grandma had already been down the road of cancer, and I thought, was doing much better. As she stepped down into the boat, her weak legs and arms gave in and she was soon laying in the bottom of the boat, along with the ride employee on top of her. She said she was okay, insisted that we all stay on the ride and she will be there waiting when we get back. Nothing has broken my heart the way it did when my boat drifted down the ride and I stared back at my Grandma. That was the moment I knew that my Grandma was no longer the woman that I remembered growing up.

I believe that the elderly men and women deserve more respect than anyone else in this world. I believe that they have lived life, suffered, and dealt with more difficulties than most of us could handle. I believe that they have knowledge way beyond our years and that if we were to listen we could understand the world in a much more intimate way.

I’m not sure when this belief was set in me, but I know that it is a permanent stand. I will always be respectful of my elders. I will always have patience with them. I will stop in a parking lot, and not only wait, but I will wait gladly for them to cross the street. I will hold the door for them and smile because inside I know that I am not doing it for myself, but I am doing it because I know that they have endured much more than I have thus far and they deserve to have one less thing to worry about. Nothing can compare to the feeling I get when I know that I have just made a difference in someone’s life. But to make a difference for someone who has already lived for 70 years is even more important to me. I’ll never forget the look on a woman’s face, and the tears in her eyes when my waitress at a restaurant told her that someone had paid for her meal. Yes, it was cheap. She was eating alone. I couldn’t get the nerve to go sit with her before she was done, so I bought her meal instead. I held back the tears, but I now make it a habit to look for someone eating alone.

I remember my Grandma every single time I see an elder struggling. Give them your time. Be patient and respectful. I believe they deserve every ounce of it.