Thursday, April 17, 2014

Biweekly Bits #6: Respect Your Elders

After writing 26 bits, I realized that there is so much I could elaborate on with each of my bits. So I decided to turn them into a biweekly (i.e. fortnightly) series, for the next year.

Respect your elders. Learn from them. There are so many valuable lessons to be gleaned from the lives of those who come before us. Listen to the stories of the older people in your family or community. There's a wealth of knowledge that they have gathered over the years, and they won't always be around to share it. Learn about your history, it will tell you a lot about who you are, where you came from, and what that means. After all, you didn't just pop up on the earth one day.
There's really not much more to add to what I've said in this bit. But I'll leave three points with you for today.

1. Knowing about where you came from, both in the recent past and in the distant past is key to understanding who you are and how you got where you are. Value your history, even if it isn't pretty, it's yours. One of the major downfalls of the Israelites was that they kept forgetting their history: who they were, that they were set apart, what God had brought them from. God constantly reminded them, but they would still forget and stray away, and worship other Gods.

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom for the future.

Proverbs 19:20

2. Those who have come before us always have wisdom to share. They have a wealth of life experience, and many many mistakes that have taught them much over the years. Sometimes it's hard to appreciate this because cultural values and practices change so much with every generation, but human nature never changes. I've often found myself repeating things that my mother has said to be over the years, because I've come to realise that she knew what she was talking about when she said it. Listen to the words and watch the lives of those who have come before you. Respect them for the fact that they have struggled and made it through.

You are to stand in respect for the older people in your community. You must fear your God. I am the Eternal One.
Leviticus 19:32

3. Mentorship is important. This one is more active than the other two points. Mentorship is a two-way connection between someone older, or more experienced, and someone younger. It is an intentional relationship, which enables the younger, or less experienced person to glean wisdom from the older, or more experienced one. Finding a mentor requires you to seek one, as most mentors won't find you. So find an older person to learn from, sit at their feet (metaphorically speaking), ask for their advice, share your thoughts and ideas with them. Such a relationship is valuable to both of you.

Be blessed and shine brilliantly!


A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
and how good is a timely word! -Prov 15:23