Respect Elders

Yutang Lin

Deterioration with aging is only natural,
Yet experienced in knowing adjustment.
Vigorous youth often rush forth bluntly;
Sincere respect will earn guidance deep.


Upasika Wang, seeing many instances of youth being disrespectful of elders, asked me to write about respecting elders.

It is only natural that as we grow older our physical and mental functions gradually deteriorate. For all those who are lucky enough to live to old age none could escape this fate. Nevertheless, as a result of long-term accumulated experiences it is only natural that older people would be more polished and all-round; they tend to think of causes and consequences and are more ready to make appropriate adjustments. Youth are alert and swift in action but may rush into things without making proper precautions; if they could be respectful to elders who are more experienced, then it is more likely that they would benefit from careful guidance.

Written in Chinese on April 10, 2003
Translated on April 15, 2003
El Cerrito, California

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