'We can't leave behind a desert for future generations'

ON SUNDAY, July 25, Pope Francis launched World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, with thanksgiving services across the globe.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 9:37 am
Updated Friday, 13th August 2021, 9:37 am
EXPERIENCE: We have so much for which to thank Sir David Attenborough.

This couldn't have come at a more important time. For nannas and grandads, being banned from seeing, let alone hugging, their loved ones during the past 15 months has been one of the hardest burdens to bear.

Yet, despite the restrictions, families found new ways to keep in touch; zoom calls, virtual quizzes, chats across the garden. In many cases it was the youngest member of the family who guided everyone through Zoom. Love will always find a way.While millennials may have the technical know-how, it's their elders who have the wisdom – just one of the benefits of having lived longer.

Pope Francis has alluded to this in his message coinciding with WDFG: 'The future of the world depends on (a) covenant between young and old. Who, if not the young, can take the dreams of the elderly and make them come true?'

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Take the state of the environment forn example. It's thanks to veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough we are aware of the perilous effects of climate change. As an ardent advocate for Mother Nature, Sir David has challenged us to change our ways before it's too late.

Pope Francis inspired an environmental movement through the publication of his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si.

He posed the question: 'What world do we want to leave to our children and our young? From God's hands we have received a garden, we cannot leave (behind) a desert.' Future generations will have much to thank these two men.

Think of the achievements of wo(man) over the last century. The discoveries, art, music and literature that continue to inspire and enrich us.

Our grandparents and elders were part of that revolution. Now they are there to pass on the metaphorical baton to those who follow; to encourage, cajole, so the next set of designers, musicians, and writers can truly build back better.Father Leslie Adams is the Parish Priest of St Joseph's Church, Havant and St Thomas' Church, Emsworth.