As youth, you may not see your elders as great role models (or role models at all, for that matter), and to you they may have strange beliefs, habits and customs. But trust me, there is still so much you can learn from them. They’ve been through a lot in life. Treat them with respect and learn from their experience (and mistakes even). You could learn one thing from them and apply it to so many other aspects of life. You may be sharper, fitter and more educated than some of your elders, but you haven’t yet acquired wisdom and experience. These are things you can’t study or inherit. So even if they didn’t have the career, home or lifestyle you desire, there are so many things you can still learn from them.
It’s better to learn from the experience of ordinary, hard-working people instead of those who portray themselves as having the perfect life. Because most people who are deemed “successful” by society and have “made it” (in a short space of time) were actually given their blessings by God, without a great deal of effort on their part, as a test from Him. Sadly, many such individuals often exploit their fans by literally selling them a false picture of what life should be like and unrealistic ways of achieving their dreams.
Don’t lose the opportunity to learn from and serve your elders. Have patience with them, show mercy and don’t speak over them. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Part of glorifying Allāh is honouring the grey-haired Muslim.” Sahīh Sunan Abī Dāwūd