Thoughts on this post? Share them with me on Facebook, join the SPANily or Tweet me at @angieatkinson. ~Angie

vs_elders_01After Nance Rosen’s comment on yesterday’s post regarding the facts about losing 100 pounds,  felt like it would be appropriate to continue the discussion. Today, we are focusing on our elders.

In part, Nance said, “There’s ALL kinds of ‘invisible’ people, or people who get overlooked, labeled lazy or treated as stupid. People with physical handicaps. The elderly. Youngsters (with opinions). People from cultures that are quieter than the typical American. Introverts. Ambiverts. People coping with illness, physical and mental. Parents who have to hold down two or more jobs and support several kids. People who work fast food. People who use food support debit cards. Kids who need school lunches. Anyone with an accent other than British.”

“The list is long,” she continued. “The point is: we are not in high school and no one is with the cool kids. Everyone goes home to their own concerns – and most people are alone with them. Even the happy, well-treated, slim, strong and beautiful people.”

Right on, sister.

Way too often, I see people around me minimizing the value of the older generation. People roll their eyes when an elder doesn’t understand some of our current technology or asks too many questions. Some consider their older family members more of a burden than an amazing resource.

The truth is, even those elders who haven’t experienced a formal education still have more life experience than your average Joe, and you can bet that they’ve learned some valuable life lessons along the way. Instead of feeling burdened by them, take a few minutes to actually listen the next time your grandma tells her stories. As her life has progressed, she has likely learned a few things that you haven’t yet.

Consider yourself lucky if one of your elders is willing to share this valuable information with you. The benefit of their knowledge and experience isn’t the only thing your elders can offer you. They can be one of the keys to understanding yourself better.

Knowing who came before you, whether biologically related or not, can be intense. I know that I have personally related to people of all ages, races and sexes in trying to come to a better understanding of myself.

After all, we are all connected. Your elders may also offer you a friendly ear when you need to talk, sage advice when you don’t know what to do, and much more. Who of us doesn’t wish we could reach into the past and have a conversation with someone who is no longer with us? Everyone has likely felt that way at some point.

Now, you can change things–take the time you’ve got to spend time with someone you love today.

Mini-Bliss Mission: Hang With Your Elders

Today, I challenge you to take a few minutes to talk with one of your elders. Call your grandma, chat with an elderly neighbor, or go visit one of your friends or family members in their homes. Whatever action you take, be sure to take a few minutes to listen to them. Remember, even if they don’t text like a pro or couldn’t send an email to save their lives–your elders have something important to say. Who knows, you might just learn something new!

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.  

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9 Responses to Why You Really Should Listen to Your Elders

  1. Well I love my grandmother so much 🙂
    Everytime I visit her in our old house – where my mom grew up, she would prepare so many food for us. She always tell us stories of her past and childhood.

    We better do love and care for them because we may learn the hard way once we become old too.

    Thanks for this wonderful article.

  2. Yea, so very true. I could surely relate. I just hope everybody would be able to realize the importance of their elder`s into their lives… For what they have been a big part of this world we have today.

    Nice article sis. I like it.

    And oh, could you add me to your blogroll too? Hehe. Thanks.

  3. Thank you.
    Thank you in name of all elders…
    Your hearty words touched my heart and blossomed out with the wisdom.
    Your wonderful post opened my closed window by knocking on the heart. Your writing awakened the dreams – wow, we aren’t forgotten and the needless – THANK YOU!

  4. I like the term “elders”. It is so often overlooked today. “Elders” (I think) gets its’ origination from Native American Tribes. The term is of adoration, respect, and reverence. Something that could very well help to enlighten today’s younger society. It is within the life experience of these “elders” that traditions as well as valuable knowledge is passed on. Stories told throughout generations handed down -not for entertainment- but for a path of wisdom for others to learn through the experiences of those gone before them. It is wonderful that you have brought this often ignored facet to light. Holding your elders in high regard and learning from what they have to say whether they are your grandmother or the little old lady on the subway is something I think we should all embrace more often. Whenever given the opportunity, I agree, listen, we just might learn something. Great post!
    TR Hughes

  5. I don’t have any grandparents. They all passed away before I was old enough to even really miss them. Other than a few vague memories, they were barely a part of my life. I wish they were here for me to get to know and listen to.

    Another good reason to take the time to listen to them, pay attention to the advice they have and the experience they are willing to share, it won’t always be available to you.

  6. Hugo’s family has a wonderful Sunday tradition where the entire family has breakfast at Grandma’s (Nani’s) house. Everyone hangs out, shares stories, laughter fills the room and all the grandkids and great grandkids play toys or run around outside. It makes Nani so happy to see everyone there. And it makes us so happy to see her that way, too.

    We’re so grateful she’s in our children’s lives.

    This was a beautiful post!!

    Many Blessings….Roxanne

  7. I agree, we don’t treat our elderly with the respect they deserve. I use to love listening to my wise old grams. Her stories just amazed me. I miss her dearly. She passed away two years ago at the age of 89. Thanks for reminding me how special our elderly are. Take Care.

  8. I totally agree. I love my Grammy and listen carefully and cherish every tid bit of advice she gives me.

  9. In our culture, we don’t let our elderly parents go to nursing homes to show that we care. In fact, sending elderly parents to nursing homes is a sign of utter disrespect to parents. Nursing homes do not exist there. We have the responsibility to take care of them when they are old as much as they have the responsibility to take care of us when we were young.
    Nice post..

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