I had a little conversation with my eldest son today about why it is important to respect your elders, so let me expand on it for the sake of others:
A lot of people do not understand what it means to 'respect your elders', they automatically think only in terms of human beings and then they say that they know more than one 'dirty old man' or 'spiteful old woman' - so they reject the notion of respecting anyone just because they are older......but they miss the point entirely, to assume this saying concerns human beings alone is a great error of human self-centeredness......it must be applied broadly - let me give you just 4 simple non-human examples...
1 - A young man with a gun will hunt and kill a 70 year-old Elephant just to cut off it's tusks to sell for money....he did not RESPECT his elder the Elephant, or think about that Elephant ALSO had a family of multiple generations who will all mourn over his dead body as we do, he instead acted with the utmost DISRESPECT by murdering his elder for his personal temporary financial gain...this was a great sin on his soul to do this thing.
2 - A man cuts down a tree that is older than him, the tree might be hundreds or even thousands of years old in some cases...just to get a few dollars from the wood....he did not RESPECT his elder the tree, instead he acted with the utmost DISRESPECT by killing an ancient living thing that provides homes for literally a million other life forms - and holds beneficial medicinal secrets within it's cells that we are only now beginning to reveal...just because it is a different life form to us - does not mean it has any less of a right to exist and continue to grow and live in peace than we do.
3 - A man hears the wisdom sayings of his humble and poor ancestors who lived truly upright, moral and spiritual lives - but decides to ignore them, because some smiling faced slick tongued deceiver (who hides in misdeeds in the shadows) on TV with lots of money, fancy clothes and a book he claims 'God' wrote - tells him something different which he 'wants' to hear.....he did not RESPECT his own human elders who have returned to spirit form, he instead acted with the utmost DISRESPECT by abandoning wisdom for foolishness.
4 - A man invests his life and money into drilling or fracking for oil - in order to enrich himself, he cares not about the rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, oceans, soil, or air he pollutes in his greedy and selfish quest of spiritual self-destruction.....he did not RESPECT his elder the Earth, instead he acted with the utmost DISRESPECT by helping to destroy her some more - after she made it possible for him to experience life in the first place.
The world is being destroyed because the majority of human beings forgot these kinds of spiritual truths that ALL our native ancestors once knew (and a few of us keep trying to educate others of), and we have become as parasites and viruses on the face of the Earth - consuming all else into oblivion...because we no longer have any RESPECT for our elders (whether, animal or plant or spirit), and we constantly behave in the most DISRESPECTFUL manner imaginable.
It is OK if you do not see the point I am trying to share with you as yet, because not everyone is ever going to be on the same level of conscious understanding, and not a single one of us is ever going to reach the end of the path to enlightenment - for it is an infinite one. There will always be others behind us on this path - and others ahead of us on this path....so it is, and so it shall ever be.
Watch Elephants mourning their dead as we do here: