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Life Lessons from Elders

There is much wisdom that can come to us from those that live a long time.

We each have the opportunity to observe elders and learn from them.

In a culture that is so focused on youth it is possible to miss these significant life lessons.

In most cultures around the world it is the elders who are venerated.  Sadly, that has been changing.  We are more likely to ignore the past and ongoing contributions of many older people.  There are notable exceptions. Some older people capture our attention in part because of the way they continue to engage with what is important to them.  Their wisdom is hard to ignore.  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Henry Kissinger, and former President Jimmy Carter are examples.

Some of the lessons we can we can learn from these models include the way    they live their lives, adjusting to challenges as they continue to move forward.  The specifics may differ, but the various ways they face obstacles can be a model for all of us, despite our age. In addition, we can learn from their actions and their writings how they express their commitments and concerns. These older people appear undaunted as they continue to pursue a life of meaning despite the hindrances along the way.

It’s never too early to pay attention to the older people who surround us.  There are obvious and not so obvious valuable lessons they can teach us.  Watch, listen, and learn.  We need to be open.

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