Friday, August 31, 2007

Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother is the first Commandment with promise. It you do then it will be well with you and you can expect to live long upon the land that has been given to you.
A new law would force children to support their elderly parents. Amid changing conditions in India, family values are changing. In a bid to enforce familial obligations, the government has introduced a bill that will make it a legal obligation for children to support their parents.
Our modern age does not give the elderly the place of honor they had in earlier times and so richly deserve today. Bertrand Russell complained, "I was born in the wrong generation. When I was a young man, no one had any respect for youth. Now I am an old man and no one has any respect for age."A youth-centered culture is a backward-facing culture. It is a society in which people honor what they used to be instead of what they are going to be.
Age is like money. It isn't how much we have spent, but how much we have left. If we truly believe what we say we believe about eternal life, what we have left is forever. Every birthday takes us one year further from our birthdate and one year closer to Eternity.
This requirement has more to do with medical care, old-age pensions, and retirement homes than with disobedient minors. It means quite simply when your Mom and Dad have to depend on you, don't let them down. Honor your father and mother.
Although Social Security, Medicare, and old-age pensions have largely taken over the kind of responsibilities enjoined by this commandment, no system can honor your parents for you. Many systems are terribly impersonal and even insultingly dehumanizing.
When parents are no longer productive members of society, they need more than ever to be honored and reassured of their worth. Though children eventually outgrow their need to obey their parents, they never outgrow their duty to honor their parents. The time may come when aged parents must obey their children. But even then, and especially then, children must find ways to honor their parents, to affirm their dignity and worth.
Honor takes many different forms. It is much more than greeting cards, candy and flowers on Mother's Day. The way in which parents honor their children, for instance, differs from the way children honor their parents. It is a dishonor to treat everyone alike without respect to differing needs and responsibilities. True honor takes into account the age and situation of the people involved and the nature of the relationship. You're young only once, but you can stay immature the rest of your life.
One of the reasons that Chinese culture has survived thousands of years through many political and social revolutions is that through it all, they honored the elderly— not because it was spoken by God, or Moses, or Confucius, but because it was wise.

A new law in India will take India’s traditional strong sense of familial obligation into the stricter territory of legal statute. Surveys among India’s elderly have found that due to abandonment or gross neglect by children, the elderly population suffers from loneliness and isolation.
For many people the new law offers a chance for dignity and financial stability. The “Parents and Senior Citizens bill, 2007” says that adult children and grandchildren who earn incomes are required to maintain and take care of their parents or grandparents. Any relative of a senior citizen who is in possession of property or who stands to inherit the property of the concerned senior citizen would be liable to provide maintenance and support. The Law also says that those who refuse to provide support can face up to a month in jail.

Beyond the legal difficulties in enforcing the law, many parents say they would be reluctant to use the law to sue their own children. They want their children’s love and affection, not just their money. At present Indian society is not as litigious an American society. Should such a law go into effect in the United State, I dare say many children would find themselves in jail or in the same boat as the grand children of Leona Helmsley who were completely disinherited. She left $12 million to a dog named “Trouble”, and not a penny to the children of her body.
Helmsley died Aug. 20 at her Greenwich, Conn., home. She became known as a symbol of 1980s greed and earned the nickname "the Queen of Mean" after her 1988 indictment and subsequent conviction for tax evasion. One employee had quoted her as snarling, "Only the little people pay taxes."

Leona Helmsley's dog will continue to live an opulent life, and then be buried alongside her in a mausoleum. But two of Helmsley's grandchildren got nothing from the late luxury hotelier and real estate billionaire's estate.
Helmsley left her beloved white Maltese, named Trouble, a $12 million trust fund, according to her will, which was made public Tuesday, 28 August, in surrogate court in New York. It's not an outrageous amount considering that her estate is $8 billion, and then the dog only gets a fraction of 1 percent. This is just another reason to honor your father and mother. If the grandchildren had been more honorable, then perhaps “The Queen of Mean” would not have left them in the dog house.


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