Many of us tend to overlook one of the greatest sources of wisdom in our lives – our elders – but how much can you learn from one simple conversation, what can you do to better connect with your elders, and what are the secrets to a long and happy life?
What to Listen For
- Why is it important to maintain relationships with our elders and what can we learn from them, even in a technology dominated world?
- Are older generations facing the same level of loneliness that modern generations seem to be facing en masse?
- What do the elderly point to as secrets to a longer and happier life?
- What is one simple act you can do every time you run into someone you know that can strengthen the bond between you two?
- If you’re looking for a mentor, what can you do to approach an elder you’re interested in learning from?
- How do you connect with people from older generations if you feel you have nothing in common?
- What can you do to mend broken relationships before it’s too late?
- What simple mental exercise can you do to develop your sense of empathy when it comes to getting to know your elders?
We live in an interesting time in human history. In many cultures around the world and for as far back as we can tell, the elders in a community have been revered for their experience and wisdom. But now, if you live in a country like the United States, you have undoubtedly seen or heard of our elders being treated as if they are “extra weight” we have to live with as a society. Retirement homes and nursing homes are ripe with older generations who are treated like stubborn patients rather than the wise and experienced members of society they are.
But there is so much we can learn from our elders. The stories they can tell are the stories of past lives, of struggle and adversity, and the lessons only decades of experience can teach us. Remember the next time you encounter one of your elders, that reaching old age can feel lonely for many people. Friends have passed away. Family members and loved ones might only be checking in on occasion. Our elders are an untapped resource and need our presence in their lives just as much as we unknowingly need theirs.
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