While many communities are known to take care of their own, our community has always stood out for going many steps further than simply taking care of our own. There is a reason that the expression, ‘Parsi, thy name is charity,’ is known and appreciated not just across our country, but through the world. The father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, had lauded us thus: “I am proud of my country, India, for having produced the splendid Zoroastrian stock, in numbers beneath contempt, but in charity and philanthropy, perhaps unequalled, certainly unsurpassed.”
To a large extent, we have continued our legacy of giving, to those in need, within the community and outside of it. But today, there is a new and rising concern within our community, especially among our seniors. Though our pedigree has granted most of us great genes for a long life, it seems counterintuitive when the twilight years of life are lived in an emotionally compromised manner.
Loneliness looms large, with a large number of our seniors as well as super seniors (those above 80 years of age), living by themselves, some with house-help, some without. In either case, it’s heart-breaking to see our lonely and depressed silvers, who once lived a rich life – surrounded by friends and family… today ruing the fact of having outlived them. They seem to be blessed with longevity and cursed with loneliness.
They crave companionship, warmth, the human connect… someone to speak with, someone to hear them, someone to occasionally console them – wipe their tears, lay a gentle hand on their shoulders, someone to let them know they are not alone, someone to drive away the monster of loneliness which consumes their joie de vivre and ultimately their lives.
We are grateful to and champion the numerous charitable organizations and individuals that cater to adverse living conditions and other financial needs of those in need. However, there exists a growing emotional lacuna that needs to be filled, so that our seniors don’t fall victim to loneliness. It doesn’t demand your money – it calls for your time and your empathy. You don’t need deep pockets, you just need a kind heart that’s willing to share a little of your time with those who are running out of it. And together then, as a community, would we have truly earned the reputation of being charitable – in Thought, Word and Deed.
Have a lovely weekend!