The Elderly Voice

PatrickSmithnz

We’re watching ‘The Voice Kids’ on Saturday evenings; enjoying the singing voices of talented children.

I’m musing on the voice of the elderly…

The Weak Voice

Some of my elderly friends are too weak – physically, mentally – to speak for themselves.

We are aware of the voices of our LGBT friends and our BAME friends. They have presented their cases and concerns with energy and passion. Injustice is highlighted, understood and supported.

The elderly with dementia, the forgotten in care homes, the fearful confined to life in isolation have a weak voice. Sometimes that voice is silent.

The Weary Voice:

Some of my elderly friends are too weary to speak for themselves.

They have served on committees, diaconates, PCCs; run activities for children and young people; done practical work behind the scenes; volunteered for causes, for charities, in churches.

They have campaigned for good and right. They have worked tirelessly and fought their good fight.

Yet now they’re tired, scarred and bruised from previous encounters. They no longer have the energy to fight, engage or speak out. Conflict is too much. Their voice is weary.

The Wise Voice

And yet my elderly friends often have the wise voice. If I want wise advice I will still ask someone older than me.

To quote ‘The Sound of Music’ – ‘I need someone older and wiser telling me what to do.’

We have forgotten how to respect and value older people; not just to honour their past, or provide for them in their present and future. We must recognise and value their present contribution.

In any community, any church, any extended family, we need the energy and vitality of youth to bring freshness and change. But we need it balanced by the wisdom and experience of the elderly.

We need to listen to the elderly, wise voice.

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