Tuesday 15 June 2021

Abuse Hurts At Any Age - Stop It

Respect and manners have always been considered the placeholders for the deep-rooted moral values in our society. And we, the parents, take pride in raising a child who possesses the basic lifeskill of respecting others. I personally take this responsibility of guiding my child to respect the rights and value of other family members or anyone else for that matter. Because that's the way we may create a world of 'adults' who are courteous, considerate and thoughtful to others' needs on this planet. 

What made me address this topic today is a recent incident when I overheard a neighboring young girl shouting at the highest pitch of her voice on her grandmother and the poor lady literally burst into tears due to embarrassment, shame and awkwardness. To my utter shock, the mother had no courage to intervene and to stop her daughter from misbehaving with the old lady. 
In many households, this kind of unethical behavior has become quite a common scenario where younger generation plainly dismiss the existence of elders in the family, consider them as a burden and humiliate them every now n then. Gradually knowingly or unknowingly, this practice turns into abuse. My heart aches to accept this fact, but the impact of such emotional abuse (and also physical abuse in many cases) might leave the sufferer sustain long-lasting psychological trauma forever. It's ironical to know that the violence, abuse and neglect of older persons is the most under-reported and concealed violations of human rights across the globe. 
As a reminder to treat our elders with love, appreciation and respect that they deserve in the society, today's day i.e. June 15 is the day designated by the UN as the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  This year's theme is "Access to Justice" which particularly lays stress on moving from mere awareness for the cause to the action through a human rights-based approach for the sufferers who might seek recourse.

Wondering what all it takes to make elderly people feel needed? 
  • Rectify your family dynamics. Do not hurt the dignity of your elder family members by criticizing or ridiculing their actions.
  • Value their sentiments and give them a purpose of life by seeking their advice on important matters. 
  • Keep your elders engaged in recreational communities/clubs to save them from feeling of isolation.  
  • Help them be emotionally resilient with your kind expressions, gestures towards them. And that should not be limited to just your family, but can be for anyone and everyone. 
  • Be their source of strength and make them aware of their human rights.
  • Recognize the signs of abuse for someone in trouble, and try to help them approach the local human-rights organizations or NGOs.
  • Take up a right channel to volunteer for preserving dignity of older persons in crucial situations, when no one seems to come forward to help. It may sound insignificant to you, but can be a life-savior for the other person.
Respecting our elders should simply be a civility ingrained in each one of us. If not, then mankind is in an unseen danger. 

On my level, I'm making a promise to myself to admire, recognize and applaud my elders’ contribution to my family and to the society, while keeping myself consciously away from arguments, defiance, and other family chaos. (It is the least that each of us can do.)

Care for Those Who Once Cared For You.

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.



  1. Great Initiative Thank You for sharing this valuable post

  2. Deepika SharmaJune 15, 2021 1:11 pm

    I very insightful piece. I was not aware of june 15 being designated as this day. Abuse at any age is wrong. I hope more people follow your advice.
    Deepika Sharma

  3. Hari OM
    This is such a meaningful post - as one who worked with elders before retiring from medical practice, as well as recently nursing my father through to his death, I know so well how even sometimes the most unintended hurts can take place, because we are too tired, not focusing, or just plain hurting and lashing out. Then too, as you say, there is the general breakdown of respect for our elders among the younger generations.

    I had not seen any advertsing for this UN initiative - it could do with wider spread - thanks for being part of that. YAM xx

  4. Care for those who once cared for you, such an apt line. Abuse is not justified at all! The younger generation disrespecting the older generation should never be allowed.


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