The Forgotten Ones: Compassion for the Elderly
The entire purpose of our existence is to learn how to discipline our natural passions and tendencies, and in the process, develop the highest of all attributes – that of charity. Never forget, however, that charity and service are not the same. Charity is a characteristic trait, service is a kind act! And while charity is certainly developed through continual kind acts of service, charity also seeks no reward and is initiated because of unselfishness and love rather than the hope of recognition.True service and charity are usually not accomplished through great one-time opportunities or philanthropic acts; but they are most often demonstrated best through habits of small, quiet, humble, and unrecognized actions of every day. Albert Einstein perhaps said it best when he penned: “only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” This truth explains why happiness is found from within, not without; and perhaps more importantly, it more fully explains why confidence and self-esteem improve and depression and sadness flee the moment we start to think of and help others. Ironically, our lives are found in the losing of them!
Participation in these simple acts will certainly not be acts sufficient to be recognized on the news, be worthy of some award, or be justifiable to carve a name on a plaque. However, the continual participation in these unselfish acts of service and love will in time produce the greatest reward – that of the development of character, a life of service to others, and the eventual possession of charity. And while the reward for such acts is usually only an appreciative and grateful benefactor of the charitable act, the real satisfaction comes from the happiness that will inevitably result from a life of unselfish service.
Elderly and Senior Citizens:
1) Visit your local nursing home and simply visit and talk with patients, sing songs, tell stories, read books, play games, take them on a walk, put on a performance, etc.
2) Help an elderly neighbor by raking leaves, mowing lawn, weeding flower bed, shoveling snow, wash car, clean house, etc.
3) Visit widows or homebound individuals – make them a meal, stop in to say hi, help around house, etc.
4) Spend an evening teaching a senior citizen how to use the computer or internet, painting or drawing, scrapbooking, etc.
5) Go to nursing home and have a Karaoke night – sing songs they want (the ‘oldies’). Have them teach you their dance moves!
6) ‘Adopt a Grand-friend’ – every once in a while, pick up the phone, send an email, write a letter, or go and visit your ‘grand-friend.’
7) Help an elderly person by picking up their medicine, retrieving their paper, helping them with grocery shopping, taking them ‘out.’
8) Put together a puppet show, performance, or take a game – and have a fun game night with the senior citizens. (Take them a treat too).
9) Make a meal and just go visit an elderly, sick, or widowed person in the neighborhood and just have a fun evening together playing games, telling stories, and talking.
10) Visit grandparents, widows, or local elderly people in the neighborhood or nursing home – and write down their history. Just talk to them, ask them questions, and record their answers. Then, present that history to their family (decedents)