Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Quote of the Day:  “The good thing about being old is not being young.” 
― Stephen Richards

There is a word in Swahili that has no counterpart in English because it is a word that defines an older person as wise, learned, and respected.  The word is "mzee" and it is used like "mister" except that isn't quite it.  Sometimes, I am Mzee Askofu, or Mzee Magesa, or just Mzee.  Trying to translate that into English is just not possible because we wouldn't say, "Mister Bishop" or "Mister Sam" or just "Mister" when we wanted to convey our respect and admiration for the person we were addressing.  It is so nice to live in a society where age is cherished and respected.  Even though the life span here is in the mid forties, there are still quite a few who live past that, but older people here are not respected because so many die young, rather the term "mzee" has been around for generations because elders have always been respected in this culture.  I was in the States in April and was reminded very quickly how much youth is valued over age in that society.  This is what it is and not likely to ever change, but at least there are other cultures who honor and treasure those of advanced age.  No matter how old we are, we are still learning and using the skills and wisdom we have acquired to help those around us.  God bless all who respect and honor their elders.
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