It all began in 2005 when I moved back to Los Angeles where I was born and grew up, to be near my folks so I could help them, in their later years, with daily needs. At first, I'd visit them several times a week and help out with shopping, cleaning, and even bookkeeping. Then, suddenly, in 2006, my father had a stroke, and instantly my casual assistance transformed into full-time service of caring for Dad, taking him to doctor appointments, caring for my mom, and running the family business they'd built over the previous years. It was one of the most challenging times of my life. When my mother suddenly died of a stroke in 2007, my energy became even more focused on my father. Now, six years into the process, Dad is nearing 91 years of age and the challenges continue. Yet, with the challenge has come fulfillment.
An ancient scripture of India says, "The root of comfort and happiness is harmonious relationship and sufficient wealth.
The root of harmonious relationships and sufficient wealth is wise choices. The root of wise choices is self control. The root of self control is humility and discipline. The root of humility and discipline is service to the elders. Through service to the elders, one obtains experiential knowledge and wisdom."
My experience over the past six years tells me this ancient quote is true. By caring for my parents, I've matured, am happier, and have been able to give to those who gave me so much.
If life gives you the opportunity to serve your elders, I highly recommend doing so.