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Appreciate Our Older Generation --How We Can Learn From Their Experience

Updated on October 6, 2016
Children learn a lot when the enjoy the company of their grandparents.
Children learn a lot when the enjoy the company of their grandparents.

For some wise words from an older lady see:

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The United States is very youth oriented, and sometimes we overlook our elders and how important they are in our society.

In America we focus on remaining youthful, and aging, although a natural process, is something we try to avoid. The media hypes this idea through advertising and images plastered across billboards and tv screens. We all want to remain young and beautiful, but I think aging also has some benefits.

Older people, parents and grandparents, are wise. Having lived many years our seniors have experience, and experience is often the best teacher. They know first-hand what it's like to live through tragedies and triumphs, times of war and peace, both personally and as a member of a society.They are a living testament that peope survive through the good and bad.

Many elders also exhibit a sense of calm. Because they have lived through so many events, both historical and personal, older people realize that life goes on despite adversities. For many, fears about what could happen have been replaced with a sense of acceptance, and, with acceptance comes peace.

Younger people often fail to acknowledge the wisdom of their elders. Once we become adults, and later parents, we sometimes believe we have learned the important things to get us through life and our parents and grandparents can teach us no more. Not true! Consider this example: the mother with the newborn who suddenly gets sick calls her mom (or grandma) because she knows the older woman has cared for sick children. The older woman knows when it's time to consult with a doctor because she is familiar with childhood illnesses because of experience she acquired raising her own family. Also, the older woman is more likely to remain calm; she has lived through this experience. The elder woman, whether a mother or grandma, can give advice in a calm manner, and in turn, calms the fears of the young mother. The elder woman is wise and knows what to do for both the child and the mother.

As people get older in our society, we tend to ignore them and shut them away. Perhaps we should recognize and celebrate their wisdom and allow them to share their gifts with us and our children.

At one point in my career I worked at a school for Native American children. What really impressed me about the Native American culture was how much the younger people valued their elders. They looked up to their elders and respected them.

I hope I can pass this lesson on to my children.

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    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 4 years ago from New Delhi , India

      Julie, this one is so precious a jewel that every right thinking person should ponder it and inculcate love for life in all it's different stages - birth, childhood, youth,adulthood and the most graceful stage of old age. We should necessarily share some moments with them, listen to them, talk to them, laugh with them. This way, we'll feel the real pulse of life with all it's grandeur , glory and richness and thus immensely benefit ourselves. Thanks a lot for such a powerful and timely message.

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      Did you ever notice the younger you are the smarter you think you are? Just like Karen said above. As I approach my 7th decade the more I realize how little I know and how much I need to learn. And by the way America does not treat seniors any better than they treat the poor, the handicapped, minorities, the unemployed and the uninsured. Just take for example the reaction in the debate when Wolf Blitzer asked Ron Paul what should we do if an uninsured person is dying? Should we just let him die? And the audience yelled out "let him die!". That pretty much sums up what this country thinks of anyone that doesn't fit their "American Image". We miss so much. Thanks for the inspiration,

      Peter

    • Julie A. Johnson profile image
      Author

      Julie A. Johnson 8 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Yes, we need to celebrate the good people in our lives and recognize how important they are to us. Thank you for your comment. Julie

    • profile image

      diyona 8 years ago

      live life as it seems to be dont worry about the bad or is going to happen tomorrow just worry about the good and what tomorrow is going to bring

    • Julie A. Johnson profile image
      Author

      Julie A. Johnson 10 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Lenkasvec, You are lucky to have known such a good woman. I agree staying young at heart is really important. Thank you for your comments. Julie

    • lenkasvec profile image

      lenkasvec 10 years ago from Slovakia

      Though I agree that it is important to respect our elders, I have a great problem to do that sometimes. We live together with my husband´s grandma who is 81 now and she firmly believes that the only right way to do things is the way her parents did 70 years ago - like eating a lot of pork and sausages. From my experience I would say that it is important that the elderly stay open to new thoughts and ideas, stay active. I had a friend who was even older that our grandma and I was so honoured and blessed to know her - she was active, full of life up to her last moments. She was a sparkling jewel, God bless her. I wish all of us to stay young at heart.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile image
      Author

      Julie A. Johnson 10 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Thank you Marisue, Stability is a very good word to describe our elders. Without them, where would we be? I appreciate your comment. Julie

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 10 years ago from USA

      As I get closer, they get younger. =) and I agree!! We need their wisdom and their stability. I bow...and salute! gread hub !!

    • Julie A. Johnson profile image
      Author

      Julie A. Johnson 10 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Rob,

      Thanks, I'm glad you were inspired. As we get older, our perspectives do change, hopefully for the better! We should recognize the wisdom of our elders.

      Julie

    • Rob Jundt profile image

      Rob Jundt 10 years ago from Midwest USA

      Very nice hub. Now that I'm getting a little older (but like Karen above, I still feel young), my life perspective has changed. Some of the greatest wisdom attainable, outside the Bible of course, is gleaned from our elders. I can attest to this with 100% certainty. Thanks for an inspiring hub.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile image
      Author

      Julie A. Johnson 10 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Savannah, Thank you so much for your positive comments. "Golden Teachers", what a lovely term of endearment! I agree whole-heartedly. Julie

    • SavannahEve profile image

      SavannahEve 10 years ago from California

      Hi Julie, Once again you've hit the mark with this one. As an actress, the truth hits one in the face even harder, especially for women. The Native Americans have the right idea. Our elders are the Golden Teachers and we need to revere them. Bless you for bringing it to the forefront.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile image
      Author

      Julie A. Johnson 10 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Ruthie,

      Thanks so much for your comments. Maybe the secret of getting old is to keep learning no matter what your age. I like your spunk, and keep on writing! Julie

      waanabwestern,

      I like the-tell-it-like-it-is approach too. You're lucky to be surrounded by such wise people. They really can enrich our lives. Thanks! Julie

      robie2,

      I agree -- in America, we do treat older people poorly, and that saddens me. As Americans, we have much too learn from other cultures about the treatment of our elders. Thank you for your comments. Julie

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 10 years ago from Central New Jersey

      Nice hub, Julie-Not only do we fear aging here in America, we treat our old people shockingly badly as a nation--maybe that is why Americans work so hard to stay young:-) Silly IMO -- getting old isn't so bad when you consider the alternative. After all, the leading cause of death is birthLOL

    • wannabwestern profile image

      Carolyn Augustine 10 years ago from Iowa

      Nice hub, Julie!

      I live in an area where there are a lot of retirees. I've had the pleasure of making friends with some, and that has been an enriching experience. One of my best friends is my mother-in-law, who is a strong, supportive example of motherhood, wisdom, and kindness.

      I love some of my other older friends for their "tell-it-like-it-is" approach. Many older people don't beat around the bush. This is great if you are thick-skinned.

      I have a hard time imagining moving to a place where I was the "Older person" in the group, because I would lose so much!

    • profile image

      RUTHIE17 10 years ago

      Nice Hub! I agree with you and with the response given by Karen Ellis--we're never to old to learn! My family is shrinking but I still learn things from the few elders left and I learn from the young ones.

      I too feel young inside. It's a shame my body is getting older and crankier! I remember my Great-GrandMother once told me that her body might be old but there was a 21 year old looking out of her eyes at the world.

      Thumbs up and I joined your fan club!

    • Julie A. Johnson profile image
      Author

      Julie A. Johnson 10 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Thanks andrews,

      Yes, life is a journey, and we should make the most of it. Julie

    • andrews profile image

      andrews 10 years ago

      As I always say... Lifes a journey, enjoy the ride! Live it to the full basically... :-)

    • Julie A. Johnson profile image
      Author

      Julie A. Johnson 10 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Karen,

      I don't know how old you are, but I'm sure you have enriched many lives. As I get older, I realize how little I know, and how much there is to learn. I think we can all learn, especially from those who are older than us. Keep on writing! Julie

    • Karen Ellis profile image

      Karen Ellis 10 years ago from Central Oregon

      Hi Julie,

      As I get older, I realize that although my body ages, I still think of myself in my thirties. I often wonder if other people feel the same way - if my mother and grandmother felt that way.

      And younger people don't take into account that older people might have something to offer them, because they think they already know everything. I know I did when I was 20 or so or younger. Then as the years went by, I realized I knew less and less as time elapsed. By the time I die, I should know absolutely nothing. LOL

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