Why is it important to respect your elders? Growing up in many Jamaican households if not all, an important rule to remember was to respect your elders. But what does this mean? For some, it meant not passing your elders on the road without saying “good morning, good afternoon, or good evening”. It also meant not to interfere in adult’s affairs and as a child ‘yuh fi know yuh place’. In so doing, when adults have a disagreement that results in malice, particularly among elderly folks as a child you are not allowed to pass this individual on the road and not greet them on the basis that my family is not speaking with you so I will not.

In today’s society often time we see children or young people disrespecting and dishonouring their elders. Discrimination against the elderly is also another major issue in our society. This is evident in instances where young people treat elders poorly because they are moving too slow in a transaction line or harassing them due to age. Some find it funny while others detest it and find it distasteful.

Being language conscious around your elders is one way in which we can honor them, that is to avoid expletives or having inappropriate conversations around one’s elders.

We can also honour them by being polite, spending quality time with them, asking for advise and help in any way we can.

President of Consumers Intervention of Jamaica (CIJ), Michael Diamond and Public Policy Consultant, Russell Barrett share their point of view on the importance of respecting our elders. Watch it here: