Honoring Seniors: Northeast Atlanta, GA
The Sri Sathya Sai Center of Northeast Atlanta celebrated Chinese New Year by putting a spotlight on filial piety. Filial piety as defined in the Merriam-Webster is “reverence for parents, considered in Chinese ethics as the prime virtue and basis of all right human relations.”
The Center members decided to honor their seniors in several ways. In the weekly devotional program, seniors were invited to lead the singing, with one or two practice sessions held during the week, so they would feel confident doing so. A family member was also invited to highlight the many selfless contributions of their senior family member over the years. Each senior has been humbly serving their families and the community with quiet dedication, behind the scenes, without calling undue attention to themselves. Center members felt it was time to express to each one of them their gratitude, love and deep appreciation for all they have done. The devotional program culminated with each senior receiving a gift - a blanket with an uplifting word such as Peace, Love or Hope written on it.
The seniors were deeply touched, and viewed the celebration and gift as a blessing from Sri Sathya Sai Baba. One senior reflected: “As mothers and grandmothers, all we want to do is to take care of you, to hug you, to cook all your favorite foods, and eagerly share stories and pictures of you with our families back home. More importantly, we want to open the door before you even knock when you return from school, and take off the load of your heavy backpacks. We are not good at accepting anything. We are like one-way traffic. We only know how to give and not receive. We are made this way. But today, Sri Sathya Sai Baba celebrated us through His Center. He gave us a chance to sing for Him. I am sure each one of us did the same thing when we got home. We laid the beautiful, warm blanket, filled with all your loving wishes, at His feet and said, “Thank you, dear Sai.”
Other activities during the month included sharing a video on filial piety with our Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) classes, writing letters to grandparents, and encouraging mother-daughter and father-son pairs lead in devotional singing. Children were also encouraged to share their favorite memories of their grandparents, and what they admire most about their parents. These programs were very inspirational and uplifting to all and brought Center members even closer together.