I have been blessed to have had some amazing clients, but some of my favorite experiences in my life have been sitting down with people from generations before mine and talking about their experiences.
It is amazing to learn how similar certain things are, how they transcend time: the smell of cookies baking in the oven; how pets can be a kids best friend; the freedom of the first days of summer. But also how different they can be: the trials of women in the workforce; traveling before airplanes; how much safer big cities were.
I never pass up the opportunity to chat with someone about their life experiences. I once spoke to a woman who grew up alongside F. Scott Fitzgerald on Grand Avenue, who told me that if she could go back and change one thing about her life, she would play with her dog more often. Moments like that warm your heart and make you realize that you aren’t so different from anyone who came before you, but also help you realize the kinds of things that will affect you most as time goes on.
So, tomorrow is National Senior Citizens Day and I challenge you to go out and make a new friend. Befriend someone who grew up in a different time than you, a time when things were different but people weren’t discover how much you have in common and what parts of life were different.
What lessons have you learned from talking to an elder? Share your stories in the comments!
Hi, I'm Tara! I am more than a huge fan of history, you might say I'm a little obsessed. I would spend a Friday night in with a glass of local wine and a reference book any night of the week. Learn more about me and my work here.