Weekly Column: Good old courtesy

By Omordia Efe – In this part of the world we make a show about having a sense of family and we criticize those societies that are not making a show about giving a helping hand to the elderly. However, if we want to be true to ourselves we would realize that we have less respect for the elderly as well as other vulnerable groups. How many public service institutions have special arrangements for their elderly clients? It is a thing of shame to observe the elderly queuing up for hours with the young to get one service or the other at banks and other such institutions. What about pensioners? How are the majority of them treated at places where they are screened in order to get their entitlements? Pretty bad I must say. Those kinds of treatment would most likely make the afore-mentioned group regret spending their youth in the service of the nation.

There are communities out there who pay special attention to its Senior Citizens. Facilities are put in place to make their lives more comfortable and personnel are delegated to see to their welfare. In such places, little cognizance is given to the social status of the intended beneficiaries; the beneficiary does not have to have a child in the National Assembly to be treated with courtesy. Neither should the elderly be given more respect because he/she is a parent (in extreme cases some societies label an elderly person that never had children as an evil person).

Courtesy should be what it is; courtesy. Something that should be observed regardless of whatever the prevailing circumstances may be.