Long time ago, I read on a picture message shared on social media by a friend from Africa saying ” In Africa, our elderly are not kept in nursing homes, they stay at home and teach their grandchildren the way of life”.
So today when I read this news about Japanese made Cannes film “Plan 75” , sharing the idea of anybody over 75 being encouraged to sign up for a deal with the government by which they receive a sum of money in return for agreeing to be euthanised , and the funeral will cost nothing. Its jaw dropping and heartbreaking to imagine. Even the thought , nonetheless this materialistic idea presented and debated in a movie.
What’s the sign of a selfish society? It is when we begin to think of other humans as useless and a waste, we see them as a burden, or we make them see their selves a liability.These modern housing structures are already designed to suffocate the idea of a large family, reducing the living space means ,they’re telling us to reduce the size of our families.The skyrocketing prices and hiking cost of living is to makes one think that having a family is a burden. We are forced towards individualism, a dangerous precedent.
When materialism and self absorption is being promoted in a society, it turns into a lonely and heartless community.Where values are killed and buried, respect and love is considered unnecessary, and that’s when such ideas of human devaluation are discussed and eventually applied. From sending the elderly to old homes, to suggesting ideas like euthanasia.
Islam values life and relationships, human beings and their lives have significance.The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever does not show mercy to our young ones, or acknowledge the rights of our elders, is not one of us.” (Source: Musnad Aḥmad 7073), One hadith tells the story of how a crowd of listeners around the Prophet Muhammad failed to make room for an elderly man to get closer. The Prophet observed this failure and said, “Whoever fails to honor our elders is not one of us” .
The elders are the foundation of our values, families, cultures and communities. They teach us life , their experiences are essential for our guidance and existence. We must cherish this treasure , transfer their valuable and hard earned knowledge to our coming generations. Children who raised around grandparents have more compassion and empathy, they have traits like patience and understanding of others , they learn life better from an early age , as they’re raised around the fountain of wisdom. There’s no doubt about this proverb ” Old is Gold ” .