(From my archive of 2006…)
I don’t want to sound like I have done every good deed on this earth but just want to share this incident to give an idea of how many ways there are of giving respect to elders. At a family wedding last year I saw an elderly lady who seemed to be feeling very uncomfortably seated in a grand looking but uncomfortable sofa. I offered to take her accross the hall to some other seat. Since she couldn’t walk on her own I assissted her in the move, all the while thinking that if I have to cross that same distance ten times, it wouldn’t be any problem and look at this poor woman, how dificult it is for her. As I settled her into a soft, and comfortable sofa, i thanked Allah for giving me the strength and the softness of heart. She began to give me duas and I was about to turn back to return to my group of family and friends when I realized that there were no other people around that old lady to give her company, so I changed my mind and sat with her. She immediately knew what i was doing and protested that she was fine and I could go back but I said no I wanted to talk to her and listen to her experiences. She was soooooooooo happy that someone was interested in her!!
As she started telling me stories of the past, I realized in that moment of awareness that our idea of helping out these elderly people is limited to physical assistance only, whereas the thing they desire the most is that someone takes interest in them as a person. I felt so sorry for all those people out there who must have raised families and worked for them throughout their lives but are now made to feel an unwanted burden.
I believe that most of blessings I recieve in my life are due to the duas I get from people whom I have tried to honor in one way or the other.