This past Monday, September 19, the Japanese celebrated Respect for the Aged day. It is called “keiro-no-hi,” chosen as the third Monday in September. The celebration recommends sharing a special meal for the elderly, providing perhaps a musical presentation, and giving presents. The ecommerce website Rakuten, for example, suggests giving a kumquat tree or a hydrangea wreath.
The older I get, the more it seems we need this day. In America, we celebrate holidays that glorify the military, the labor force, religion, harvest, love, our country, our country’s dead presidents, our country’s dead inspirational leaders, the change of the season and the calendar—as well as the day that people are born. But we have no celebration aimed at the 1/6 of our population who are the wise elders. We celebrate “Grandparents,” but as an event the way that we celebrate “Secretaries” or “Administrative People” – primarily as a limited commercial boon for florists and card shops. We don’t respect the aging. We don’t celebrate getting older – we run and hide from it. Continue reading “Do Not Go Gentle Away from that Frenzy”