Where did we miss it? I asked myself as I watched and observed what when I was growing up will be considered taboo? It was a norm that when elders were carrying load either on their head or in their hand, we ran to help them carry it. When you were seated inside a public means of transportation and an elder walks in, it was the norm that you concede your seat to them. It was trite knowledge when you see an elder doing a chore like sweeping or moping a place that you take on the task from where you met them.
Respect for elders is a value with great weight and a deeply ingrained culture across the African continent. I have come to observe that in our current dispensation, the young no longer take on this culture of respect for elders. While it is true that we cannot blindly show respect for an elder that will always want to cut corners, we cannot afford to lose our value of respect for elders. Elders must also be conscious to always do right by those they want to receive respect from. Respect needs to be earned as merely being in the world longer than another will not suffix. Elders must strive to promote and model a life of values like kindness, integrity, compassion and wisdom amongst others.
While some elders have exhibited their nuisance value downgrading the value of respect, being old does not equate to being wise, we must as young people be discerning not to lose the value of respect for elders. While at it, do not forget to maintain the balance and call incompetence what it is, not being scared to allow the value of respect to stop you from having competent elders. Nothing wrong with helping them carry their load. Let them sit on your chair if no other chair is available and always look for ways to be of service.