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The future of the elderly: is it possible to consolation in retirement?

The future of the elderly: is it possible to consolation in retirement?

July 12 2018 LJ cover – Будущим старикам: возможно ли утешение на пенсии?
Tags: Religion, Orthodoxy, Seniors, Pension

"Fishing". Artist Leonid Baranov

And do not leave me until old age and gray hair, God (Ps. 70: 18). A little more, and I will not have the same strength in me, the complexion will fade, and dexterity and skill will disappear. As a fading spring, the thought will fade away, memory will run out, the reading will be forgotten. Skills and skills once appreciated by employees will go away. And taking away from me the last forces - the remnants of vital energy, I will be given at last a manual, sufficient not for life - for survival. But even then, during a pension, You, God, do not leave me.

The old age we observe every day is a perspicacious revelation about ourselves. This is a magic mirror, which brought from the near future a truthful image of each of us. "There it is, it's you," the mirror of life tells me. "Really I? - there is a bitter question in me. - Such a frail, hunched, old-fashioned worn suit, delirium somewhere, leaning on a wand - in a pharmacy or a store - to modestly take the last place in the queue. How terrible it is to admit this truth: I, no one here is necessary, incapable of supporting myself. " Yes, that's right, this is the way of our life. But if it's tomorrow's me, and I see it today, it means that the help of the elderly should be re-established today.

Once the old men were taken to the woods, lowered into a snow-covered ravine on the brow, left to the mercy of fate. The boomerang returned this arbitrariness to those who made it. Old age will punish anyone who once infringed on her.

Here is an old Indian from Jack London's "The Law of Life". He is too weak to follow the tribe to far more fertile places. His son is the leader of the tribe, but there is no place for seniors on the sledges. Therefore, he sits directly on the snow in front of the fire with an armful of brushwood left to him. He remembers how he once left his father ... It is inevitable, he believes. But deep down, he still wants his son to come back for him, so that his warm, warm hands will take him along with him and take him away. Alas, the last visitors of the old man are hungry wolves.

Illustration to the fable of Leo Tolstoy "Old Grandfather and Granddaughter"
Illustration to the fable of Leo Tolstoy "Old Grandfather and Granddaughter"

Here is the famous fable of Leo Tolstoy's Old Grandfather and Granddaughter. The grandfather is too old, his teeth are pinched, the food flows out of his mouth, he dropped the cup, split it ... So they put him behind the stove so that he does not spoil the picture in the house, gave him a wooden pelvis. A simple-minded, but intelligent grandson is already making wood out of wood for his parents. And they should be ashamed, they brought the old man back to normal life in the family.

Do not despise a man in his old age, for we also grow old (Sir 8: 7), a simple but obvious biblical truth. In order not to approach the wolves, you should not act like a wolf towards the weak and feeble. So that tomorrow you are treated with dignity, today you are worthy of others.

A son! receive your father in his old age, and do not grieve him in his life. Even if he has become impoverished with reason, have indulgence and do not neglect it in the fullness of your strength, for mercy to the father will not be forgotten; in spite of your sins, your prosperity will increase. On the day of your sorrow you will be mumbled about you: like ice from heat, your sins will be solved. He who forsakes his father is the same as the blasphemer, and cursed from the Lord by his annoying mother (Sir 3: 12-16). Here are the biblical foundations for social assistance, the protection of the elderly. The blessing from God descends only at the expense of what you support, but do not take away, give, and not take, work for others, and do not demand exhausting labor from them.

And yet we are afraid of old age. We will avoid it as a gloomy door leading to a dungeon, into a world of shadows and unknown ghosts. Is there any kind of consolation with a small pension, after years of wasted labor? There is! Because there is Comforting. I am the Lord your God; I hold you by your right hand, I say to you: "Do not be afraid, I am helping you" (Isaiah 41: 13).

Old age is inscribed in God's Providence. Hence, there is a spiritual meaning in her infirmities and deprivations

Old age is inscribed in God's Providence. Each age is given from God their trials. And the age of the elderly is not deprived of its strength test. Hence, there is some spiritual meaning in all these infirmities, external poverty and deprivations. If God allows trials, then through them we have to go through.

Pension, issued by the state, was invented not so long ago. The first law on state responsibility for the elderly appeared in England in 1601. The law concerned only the weak and the poor, because it was believed that if you can make a living, then continue to work. Only in the XX century the pension became legal for all. Until that time, care was entirely on the responsibility of close people, if those of the old man remained. And if we look down from our time into the depths of the centuries, we will see only works, works, labors, and infirmities, and so on until the lost Paradise, when the verdict was pronounced: With sorrow you will eat from it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you ... in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground from which thou hast been taken, for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return (Gen. 3: 17-19). Do we know the time or the country, where would it be otherwise?

Abraham and Sarah
Abraham and Sarah

I open the Old Testament and see that old age is first mentioned in relation to Abraham, and it is called good old age (see: Gen. 15: 15). Here we have almost a century old man, without a homeland and without offspring, without social guarantees, without insurance payments and pensions. He wandered from a foreign land to a foreign land, cultivated the land in the sweat of his face, ran from fear to Egypt, experienced about the future and actually himself did not receive the promised land, being only a temporary stranger on it.

And yet God called the limit of his life an old age good. Because good old age is where God is, where there is a clear conscience and a clean life. Good old age, where freedom of the soul and no painful pain, according to the words of Pavel Korchagin, "for aimlessly lived years." It was in old age that the forefather Abraham found the wonderful joy of direct communication with the Lord. And everything in his life seemed humanly impossible, unrealizable, but Abraham believed the Lord, and He imputed it to him for righteousness (Gen. 15: 6). Do not be afraid, Abram; I am your shield; Your reward is very high (Gen. 15: 1), - so the Lord says to everyone who believes that He is near, He is our Shield and our Fence.

But I open the New Testament, the Holy Gospel, and I see with astonishment the words of the Savior addressed to the first-born apostle Peter: Verily, verily, I say to you: when you were young, then girded yourself and walked wherever you wanted; and when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and the other will gird you, and lead you where you do not want to (Jn. 21: 18). Is it not about us and our reforms?

Why, Lord, are you, who conquered death and corruption, so easily agree to the senile infirmity of Your disciples? Why did You allow us to be helpless and helpless? The days of our labors are prolonged, but we can not find rest.

- Because old age reveals to us the whole truth of life to the end!

Our God has a special plan for our old age. This is the time when you become one on one in the face of eternity, before the face of God. This is the time when you are at the doorstep and so everything goes unnecessary. This time of many losses, but also many acquisitions. The temptations, drives, which actually to the soul and did not give anything authentic, are disappearing. In the midst of infirmity comes insight.

How amazing that it was in old age that many people found God, they most seriously took on spiritual life, prayer, repentance and, as a result, found real joy. I see the eyes of these people - there are more pleasures in them than in the eyes of the disgruntled "generation" of Pepsi. " The wind of senseless haste has left, and in the inner stillness of old age, a man has finally heard the call of faith - calling God's voice to save your soul.

Not having tasted the infirmity of old age, it is impossible to understand that there is a person and for what purpose he is called to live

Many fantasies, dreams lived in me on a spiral of youth. Every problem I'm used to winning. Nothing was left unattained, that he set himself the goal of life. Suddenly appearing infirmities and diseases instantly took away everything, opened their eyes to who I really am. Not having tasted this infirmity, it is impossible to understand that there is a man and for which he is called to live.

Young, immature heart life is an immense field, on which you can endlessly tear flowers and enjoy their fragrance. An elderly man reaped thorns and thistles from this field, cultivated it "in the sweat of his face" - old age leads to humility.

Youth and youth want to try everything at once - old age knows the value of things.

Youth lives by extremes - old age comes to moderation.

Youth is wasteful - old age is thrifty.

Youth is radical in judgments, ready to cut off the shoulder - old age becomes more condescending, capable of tolerating and forgiving.

Even when the elderly cries, his tears, like age itself, are golden. He cries about children and grandchildren, about their sorrows, mistakes, stumbles. And this means that the heart of an elderly person is alive. The dead do not cry about anyone. But to make the heart of the dead live, you need to go a long way to life.

No, old age is not a dungeon, but the top of a mountain. And at the top of this mountain, God will not leave you

No, old age is not a dungeon, but the top of the mountain to which you have ascended, though exhausted by the previous ascent, but you still reached, reached, reached. To this peak you walked, without falling into a ravine, or into an abyss, because all your life the Invisible Patron led you by the hand. And on the top of the mountain He will not leave you.

In the lines of His Revelation, we hear a still, life-like response, as quiet as a breath of fresh air: And to the old age of your I will be the same, and to your gray hair I will carry you; I created and will wear, support and protect you (Isaiah 46: 4). In infancy, my parents carried me in their arms, in old age you carry us in your arms, You, O Lord.

All our lives we endure infirmities, but for the rest of our lives we are in someone's reliable hands. In infancy - in the hands of parents, in school years - in the hands of teachers, in youth - in the hands of close friends or a professional team. In the hands of the family, loved and loving. In the hands of doctors, when you need to be treated. In difficult moments - in the hands of the confessors. These hands do not allow us to fall into the abyss of despair and emptiness. Behind them are invisibly present the hands of God. And even if the state does not support, God will send a man who will certainly support you.

So, you have reached the top of the mountain, and from this peak you see far away all around, as one who is at the foot or who is still desperately scrambling up, being loaded with a backpack of daily problems, does not see. Old age gives you the chance to catch your breath, come to your senses and look around.

Old age was called golden age, and this age keeps in itself its treasures. Old age has its joys, its talents, like the sunset has its own unique beauty. Yes, it's sunset, the sun goes down, but how does it please the eye. Golden age pleases, as well as gold of autumn. Autumn is, first of all, a plentiful harvest, the fruits of previous works, without which the new generation will not last.

The future of the elderly: is it possible to consolation in retirement?

I leaf through the pages of my life and notice how I yearn for my grandfathers and grandmothers. And everything seems to be: parents, beloved wife and children. But there are not enough people who were with me in my childhood, who loved selflessly and invariably took the side of the grandson in any child problem. Who was not crushed by boulders of momentary problems, but each issue was solved in a measured and sedate manner. In the vicinity of them there were no problems, and the silence of their souls was transmitted to my heart in an inexplicable peace of mind. They went through hunger, war, repression, unheard-of work on the collective farm, they lost everything at the beginning of the 1990-ies, but they did not break. Because God did not leave them, but with God no one will break.

Exaggerated hands and kind eyes - that's the beauty of an elderly man. Life experience and wise advice are his treasure. The comfort of a home with the crowd of nimble grandchildren is his happiness: You will see the sons of your sons (Psalm 127: 6). But if you are alone and no one will say "Good morning" or "How are you?" If there is not one who will be a joy to you and a nurturer in your old age (Ru 4: 15)? Then and then with you there is your Heavenly Father, for Whom you are always, at any age, a sweet child.

We fight for social liberties for centuries, but there is something and there is not, these freedoms. There is freedom of the heart, freedom of the soul. When the fetters of sin and the bonds of remembrance of the unrepentant past do not oppress you. When instead of grievances and disappointments you continue to do your humble job.

What does consolation in old age? Strangely enough, this is labor, activity, employment

What does consolation in old age? Strangely enough, this is work, activity, employment. As long as you do something, then old age is like no, it is invisible. And as soon as you fold your hands and sit down, everything, old age will take possession of you. She will come as discontent and grumble, like self-pity and reproaches of all who are around. The absence of action will be expressed in the activity of unnecessary intentions, which will occupy the space of the mind with a monotonous buzzing swarm, mercilessly sting the heart, suck out the strength of the soul.

How surprised my father is. After retiring, he settled with his mother in the village, took up farming, every day he feeds the animals and cultivates a garden, a vegetable garden. Parents have no time for empty business. But if you are physically impoverished, thank God and do it in your heart. Prayer is the highest doing of the soul, which is possible in any place and at any time, if only the flame of faith is not quenched in the heart. The God of my parents has lodged near to a temple - there and they have found happiness!

We, the future old people, apparently are not accustomed to endure infirmities, we want to be cared for. And if you are ill, then you want to play the role of evangelical relaxed, which four friends carried to Christ, and they also prayed for him. But if God wants you to be not this relaxed, but one of his four friends who tore themselves, carried the relaxed on the bed, climbed onto the roof and dismantled it, barely lifted their unfortunate friend there, and then lowered into the house, a hot prayer for the Savior? According to the faith of friends, he received not only healing, but even the forgiveness of sins, and friends themselves, I wonder, got what? And unless God forgets one who forgot about himself, but did not forget about a friend?

The future of the elderly: is it possible to consolation in retirement?

Warm care of relatives - children, grandchildren, relatives - gives solace in old age. Here is how the philosopher Plato said: trying to make others happy, we find our own happiness.

If we close ourselves, we will be overwhelmed. And everything around will seem wrong: not as laid out asphalt, not so the transport goes, not so the water flows from the tap, especially not so live the neighbors and all the people around, and the government is more guilty than all. Discontent deprives the soul of happiness.

When you have good feelings at least to someone, and above all to your grandchildren, then this good is already inside you, it will warm the soul. So the aged father Jacob, called Israel for the contemplation of God given to him, especially loved the young son of Joseph. Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age-and made him colorful clothes (Gen. 37: 3). For the younger, the old man makes clothes himself, and does not wait for what someone else will do, especially not demanding something for himself. And in this he is happy. For small children and now the elderly knit mittens and woolen socks, ready to dissolve in caring for kids - and old senility disappear.

And what lies ahead? Ahead is a life without old age, which we call it: life is ageless. The soul does not know wrinkles. The beauty of a pure soul does not spoil an aging body. Forever young is the soul, partaking of the grace of God!

The one who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 24: 13).

Grant us, God, all to endure!

Priest Valery Dukhanin
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