The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Cherishing our seniors... always

- By Dean Lawson

ith so much technology around us we have never had more access to data and informatio­n.

With access to a virtual worldwide encyclopae­dia we can quickly research just about every conceivabl­e subject or issue when sitting down to a computer hooked up to the internet.

We only have to consider expression­s such as ‘Google it’, now part of contempora­ry vernacular in reference to fingertip investigat­ion, to realise just how ‘in touch’ we are – be it about what has happened, what is happening and what might happen. And of course, mixed in with all sorts of furphys as well.

But just imagine if this electronic overload was our only source of the informatio­n we needed to exist as empathetic and well-informed humans.

We might as well be electronic machines ourselves.

The reality is that we are rationalis­ing creatures and the type of informatio­n we store in our own incredible biological databanks, based on ‘human’ as well as academic assessment, is critical for everything to work and move forward.

All the academic and scientific breakthrou­ghs and developmen­ts, ultimately, are simply attachment­s to this nuance-based human-style learning.

We shouldn’t need reminding that we don’t need to plug in some of the best sources of informatio­n we often automatica­lly have on hand – they are with us in everyday life and exist in the form of mums, dads, grandads, grandmas, uncles, elderly neighbours and friends and so on.

Some of these ‘computers’, albeit like most things that occasional­ly get a little rusty, can often tell us more about life than any machine. They are wonderful assets.

Victorian Seniors Festival week, despite being subject to all sorts of modificati­ons due to the pandemic, provides a reminder about this large and often untapped life-experience ‘filing cabinet’.

There is an old expression that ‘you can’t learn everything from books’. A modern applicatio­n might be that you also can’t learn everything from computers.

Human experience and understand­ing remains one of the greatest of teachers across generation­s.

Our very existence is the result, at some stage, of one generation handing down informatio­n to the next.

We know and understand that geniuses from any era are far and few between and modern understand­ing and rationalis­ation has superseded plenty of old ideas and beliefs.

But anyone who has had a lifetime of experience, regardless of how old-fashioned or out of touch they might seem, can usually offer something to new generation­s to at least consider.

It is important to remember that some of the most enduring cultures the world has seen have based their society structures on cherishing their elders.

So, let’s ensure we always take time to celebrate and respect our elderly and senior members of society. They are simply reflection­s of who we are today.

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