Seniors and citizenship

Echoes of Switzerland

Being on the eve of elections in Belgium and seeing that some seniors are not interested in politics and would prefer not to go to vote, I addressed to Blanche Bovet, former head of the canton of Fribourg of Swiss Ascending Life to know what is the presence of elders in communal councils and their participation in civic life.

This is what she says to me: "With my colleagues, we made a small survey of the canton officials to find out if there are still some seniors in the communal councils. Except for the few who entered it a decade ago, we did not find anyone even in Life Ascending.

In our country, retired people are interested in politics and are happy to participate in voting and elections. For the rest, they give way to the youngest. It is possible that in large cities this is a little different.

On the other hand, they sign petitions for humanitarian aid or saving the planet, against torture, child labor and poverty...

Our elders are rather active in the Church and the parish community : visits to the sick, soups of lent, missionary action, accompaniment of children on the way to school, supervision of homework school, delivery of meals to those who lack mobility, help to go to the doctor or go shopping with them. ..

A multitude of important gestures that consolidate the links between generations as well as the fraternity and the good agreement in the commune. They still feel useful in a field that suits them.

We sometimes find out that it is rather young people who are not interested in politics, especially in the villages. Fortunately, the "buffs" who start young and who make it a career almost.

These examples of the citizen involvement of seniors in the life of society challenge us and would surely be a good topic to share in our groups of Life Ascending: How do we participate in solidarity between generations in our parishes and neighborhoods?

A big thank you to Blanche, who at the end of his letter, asks us to keep hope and specially to pray for all the leaders who have a great need of the light of the Holy Spirit! What we will gladly do.

Interview by Robert Henckes