Did you know that in 1988, President Ronald Reagan made a Government Proclamation designating August 21st National Senior Citizen’s Day? I sure didn’t, until July of last year that is, when a local newspaper contacted our church office for an interview on my thoughts about this national holiday. Surprise, surprise. Needless to say, I did some quick research before returning the call.
What I did know was the fastest growing part of the U.S. population are our senior citizens. In fact, nearly 10,000 baby boomers celebrate a 65th birthday every day and according to recent estimates, the senior population is going to represent 20 percent of the overall population by 2030. That is a lot of old people, folks! And by then, I’ll actually be one of them!
The numbers continue to swell every day, and yet this group mostly escapes our notice (unless we happen to be behind one of them on the road when we’re in a hurry). Wink. Wink. 😉
Ronald Reagan said in his proclamation, “For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute.”
I couldn’t agree more with these words, because I also believe God agrees. In Leviticus 19:32 it says, “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord.”
I imagine God knew our propensity to overlook our elders and sent us a reminder via this Bible verse. He’s calling us to take notice, stand up and show respect. These are simple yet profound acts that communicate “I see you”, “I honor you” and “you’re important”. With a generation that often feels invisible and/or forgotten, small gestures can make a BIG difference.
An act of kindness in the form of a phone call or trip with them to the local ice cream shop is all it takes to make someone’s day and let them know you are FOR them!
Without a doubt, Ronald Reagan was onto something when he proclaimed this a national holiday and I wanted to be sure you knew about it, so you can honor the seniors in your world.
As a community of believers, let’s work for the peace and prosperity of our senior citizens. I’m convinced that their well-being will determine ours. (JER 29:7)