I recently read the book "Dewey: The small town library cat who touched the world" and the most touching paragraph in the book dealt with the cat growing older and less "desirable" to the library board members. This paragraph speaks volumes about the way our society views and treats older people:
"Dewey didn't look good. Dewey was hurting the image of the library. I knew they meant well, that they were interested in finding the best solution for everyone, but I couldn't understand their thinking. It was true, Dewey didn't look as appealing. Everybody ages. Eighty-year-olds don't look like twenty-year-olds, and they shouldn't. We live in a throwaway culture that stashes older people away and tries not to look at them. They have wrinkles. They have age spots. They don't walk well and their hands shake. Their eyes are watery, or they drool when they eat, or they "burp in their pants" too much (Jodi's phrase from when she was two years old). We don't want to see that. Even the accomplished elderly, even the people who gave their whole lives, we want them out of sight and out of mind. But maybe older people, and old cats, have something to teach us, if not about the world, then about ourselves."
What a great reminder to look at our older brothers and sisters for what they still have to offer us and what we can learn from them, rather than looking at them as a burden or an inconvenience. How good can a society be if it doesn't respect it's elders?