Who are our elders? They are those who are older and impart knowledge and wisdom to us, such as our parents and teachers. The Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha are also our elders. We respect them and owe them our sincere gratitude for their teachings and guidance.
In contrast, arrogant people make us feel inferior. The less arrogant we are, the less subjective viewpoints we have, and we become more accepting. When we respect others, it will spread and eventually bring peace throughout the community.
Show respect to our elders, and you will notice significant, positive changes in your viewpoints and conducts.
Tommy and Johnny
There once was a 15-year-old boy named Tommy, who had never appreciated his parents. Johnny, his 19-year-old brother, came back from college one day to visit him. Tommy was furious at his parents because they had not given him a Playstation for his birthday but instead, a book and birthday party. He also envied his older brother who lived in a dorm, away from his parents.
Tommy questions Johnny about college and says he cannot wait until he is old enough to leave his parents forever. Instead of answering, Johnny asks him how many meals his parents made for him each day. ˇ§Three meals,ˇ¨ was Tommyˇ¦s answer, wondering why his brother asked such a question. Johnny explains there are 365 days in a year, so his parents cooked him over 1,000 meals (365 x 3 = 1,095) a year. In addition, Tommy is 15 years old so his parents had already made him over 15,000 meals (1,000 x 15 = 15,000)! Moreover, there are about ten plates per meal, and with three meals a day, it comes to about 30 dishes a day that his parents had to wash. Now that Johnny has to cook by himself, he realizes all the things his parents had done and that he had taken for granted before he went to college.
Never wait until it is too late. Cherish your moments with your parents and appreciate what they do for you.