The contribution of elders to society has been discussed in previous articles. Apart from their general significance in our lives, there are specific things we can learn from them. The process of teaching will help them feel useful and important while at the same time we will take advantage of their wisdom. So what could the elders teach us today and why should we rely on their experience?
It may sound simple, but history is not only about going back in the books to learn the truth about historical events. Older people have the luck to have lived experiences that seem so far away for us and if they are inspired they can give us a glimpse into their world. What happened back then in your country and which specific policies determined the way we live today? We may all have some understanding of the past, but there is no better way to see the whole picture than talking with someone who has lived through that situation. Apart from the important stuff you can gain a picture of the details in those people’s lives. How were their houses? How did they communicate? What did they use to eat? Things are changing so fast that we barely have the chance to realize the changes in our own lives.
- The value of staying united
Life 50 years ago was a lot different, not only in terms of technology but in terms of social relationships also. Some grandparents used to play this game with their grandchildren. They gave them a small wooden stick and they asked them to break it in two. Once the kids broke the stick, the grandparent would give them a bunch of sticks and ask the kids to break them all in once. The kids of course could not make it this time. Then grandparents would say: ”This is what family looks like.” Metaphors and simple lessons can make people understand greater concepts and elders seem to have this gift of explaining all that in simple words. Not all elders have families or are family-oriented people, but most of them at least understand the importance of being united and how far this can take you. Even if you don’t succeed a lot that way, you will certainly be safer.
- Being grateful
People may attend yoga lessons or go to psychotherapy sessions trying to find the meaning of existence. The importance of appreciating what you have, instead of getting consumed to an endless chase of what you don’t or can’t have, is now well known. Still, when you grow older you realize from your own experience that nothing is granted. What is easily given to you right now, perhaps might be taken away in the future, and there is no greater example than health. Those who have the experience can pass the message more convincingly. Being grateful is probably the most crucial thing in life and people sometimes miss the point. It is only the elders who can show us the way to a happy life and we owe it to ourselves to listen to them.
- Learn new things
Life lessons are vital, yet don’t underestimate older people’s skills. As lifestyle has changed many things are being done differently. However, those people can show you stuff that is now rare. Take cooking for example. Old housewives used to cook everything. Today, supermarkets have everything precooked and many recipes are not known by men and women of today. At the same time, men used to repair all kinds of stuff. Nowadays, specialists and professionals take care of everything. Let’s just say that back in the day people knew a little bit of everything. Today people know a lot of one thing. We suggest you hang out with an older person for a little while and you will be surprised about how many new things you can learn.
- How to make yourself your friend
It is surprising but most people have to turn to external sources of amusement to entertain themselves. The Internet has played a significant role in that. In the past, when mobiles, tablets, and videogames didn’t exist escaping to virtual reality was not an option. People didn’t get bored so easily and when they did they turned to others for support. Even when no one was around they would find a way to be happy. All in all, they just were in peace with themselves and their environment and this is maybe one of the most valuable lessons we could be taught from them.