Welcome to the last day of our 12 Days of Gratitude. Today we are going to cover appreciating the wisdom of our elders. Just search for Challenges to read all 12 days.

What do you think of “old people” – seniors?

Are you a senior yourself? How are you managing to keep pace with the information age? Do you find that young people tend to want to hurry you along from one activity to the next?

Is it difficult for you to find a willing audience to listen to your tales and heed your good advice?

In some cultures, elders are held in the highest regard. Younger individuals respect and revere their grandparents and great grandparents for the wisdom they have gained through life experiences. Families are expected to house and financially support their aging parents, providing comfort, care and dignity in their last years of life.

Old folks have a lot to teach us. People born during the “baby boom” era of the 1940s and on knew a very different world than the one we live in today. The pace was much slower, and there were far fewer rules and regulations impeding personal freedom.

They were witness to rapid advancements including the invention of the television and later the computer… VCRs, microwaves, compact disc players… things that are now considered fairly antiquated.

Our parents and grandparents witnessed the first men to walk on the moon. They lived through World War II, were part of the Civil Rights Movement, the liberation of women in American society, and many other sweeping societal changes.

One thing that more of us should show gratitude for is the wisdom of our elders. What can an older person teach you about living meaningfully?

What about hard work? Loyalty, respect and integrity?

Exercise 12: Practising Gratitude for Our Elders

Journal Tip – this is going to be a fun filled exercise. Today you get to conduct an interview. Write down all the questions you would love to ask a senior. Give them lots of time to answer and you could even record your ‘chat' and then write it out in detail later on. 

It doesn't take much effort to enjoy the simple pleasures of, say, a slice of pie, a cup of coffee and a good conversation with someone older than you who has seen and done some things, and lived to tell about it.

When was the last time you had a lunch date with your aging mom or dad?

Do you know someone living in a retirement home? Pay them a visit. Make it a practice to see them as often as you can.

Try to imagine yourself in an old person's shoes. Someday you, too, will seem slow and out of touch, to a young person for whom the world is so much different that the one you came of age in.

Older people want to be heard. They come from a time when the art of conversation was truly that – an art.

What can you learn about communication from someone older than you?

This will be a keepsake to treasure for always.

We really hope that you have been enjoying this days of gratitude challenge. Once you have completed today’s journal exercise feel free to leave a comment below, or come and join in the conversation on our Facebook Page.


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  1. Rob Knowlan says:

    My fondest memories are of time spent with my grandfathers, hearing about their lives and experiences. Having that opportunity to see the world with more experienced eyes helped me mature and have some perspective on my own life. There’s a lot we can learn from our elders if we just take the time to sit down, slow down and listen.

    1. Doria musaga says:

      So true, so true Rob. Trouble is it takes patience and compassion. They say patience is a virtue. I tell you patience is a skill to be cultivated. You were lucky and blessed to have spent time with your grandparents. Not a lot of people get that chance and life goes by so fast with everyone in a hurry. God bless.

  2. Doria Musaga says:

    This topic made me chuckle. I am almost there myself and work with real seniors (80s to 90s) and so have a good grip on what its all about. I also come from a culture where being older bestows on you some due respect.

    It is a great excercise for anyone who lives in a household without extended family to go out and meet and talk to seniors. It will surely show them another aspect of life.

    Thank you for putting together the 12 days of Gratitude.

    1. Sue Fleckenstein says:

      So glad it made you chuckle Doria, we all need to do that more often!

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