January 31, 2023
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Newer Isn’t Always Better: Respect Your Elders

Many times we look at older generations as “out of touch with the times.” We find ourselves saying to our grandparents you don’t understand how it is nowadays or times have changed. While time does constantly find a way to reinvent itself, we tend to forget about all of the experience that our elders possess.

Yes, elderly folks may not really understand how today’s technology or fashion styles work. However, they understand the most important things better than we do. They have more experience with concepts like human nature, happiness, importance of family and friends, and love. These are much more important in the grand scheme of things and their “back-in-my-day” stories aren’t meant to bore you- they should be taken as insight into a different viewpoint from a wiser source.

One of the most frustrating things can be when a grandparent repeats themselves. You’ve told me this story before, grandma. You asked me that earlier, grandpa. It can be tough to deal with, but at the end of the day, it’s not their faults. Biologically, their minds are changing. Their thought process is slowing down, their memory isn’t as strong, and their short-term memory isn’t nearly as strong as it once was. We think of our grandparents as weak or frail, but aging is a natural side effect of living. We will all get to that point, and I know personally that I would want my loved ones to have patience with me.

Some of the most meaningful exchanges with my grandparents have been stories of the past. It can really warm your heart to hear stories of when they were children or when your parents were younger. I personally love when a grandparent is in the middle of a story and you can see their eyes light up- they’re happy to have someone to share these memories with. There are so many memories locked away in their minds that are worth listening to. So many people have lost their grandparents and the memories that were stored within. I would give just about anything to have a conversation with the grandfather I’ve never met. He’s never been a part of my life, but he is one of the biggest parts of my heart.

I challenge all who read this to take a second to appreciate your grandparents. Give them patience, respect, and, most importantly, love. If you are one of the lucky ones who still has living grandparents, take a few minutes out of your day to see them or call them. It will likely make their day and I know, personally, that it makes mine brighter as well.