It is important for us to realize the importance of an Elder: they are deserving of respect and honor. Respect is due to all and that is what we were taught as children growing up, where ever you grew up. If you were not taught this at home by your parents, then the school would have filled you in. Age is honor and for a person to be blessed with long life, it is something wonderful. In Africa when an elder is praying for you the first words that are uttered are “May you have Long Life” and then Health, and prosperity will follow. I have seen this new generation of people across the world, disrespect their elders often, although I must say I have never seen it in Africa, It is Our Elders that we learn from, the ones who pass down oral tradition, they must be revered! Growing up in Jamaica, when our neighbor Miss Will would make trouble, when she and my mother would argue, being very protective of my mother, I would try to join with my mom to curse Miss Will. As soon as my mother heard me she would slap me and tell me to shut up, this was between big people. Afterwards she would lecture me, telling me that Miss Will was a grown woman and I should never disrespect her, If I see her carrying bags I should offer to help her or if she falls and I am around I should not walk away, rather I should help her, the only caution she gave me was if she offered me food, drinks, or candy I should refuse, but do so politely. In the traditional practice of IFA/ORISHA, it is not only important that we honor our elders by theirs physical age, but also by theirs spiritual age too, the wealth of spiritual knowledge that they possess and how long have they been initiates. When I travel to Ogun State, Nigeria and I go on my God Fathers compound, Olowu Okegbemi, I immediately drop to my knees, and grasp his right leg, and greet him while he prays for me. Parents we must instill this in our children, they do not say, Miss this or Mr. that any more. No Good morning, evening or night when ever they call or come around!! why? Where are the Please and the thank you. Gone are the days when youngsters did not curse in front of the elders. Shame!! What has the world come to, then is it any wonder that nature is turning against human being. There is a quote by Jame Baldwin that says;
“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they never fail to imitate them”
Obara Meji is a spiritualist, Ifa-Orisa practitioner, and teacher of metaphysics. Since 2011 she has used her online platform to share her personal experiences to those seeking answers about spirituality. Her teachings will expand into short stories, novels, and public speaking to continue her mission of bringing enlightenment to the world.