Live long and prosper
On January 17th, Betty White would have turned 100 years old. Joan Didion passed away right before Christmas at age 87. Sidney Poitier, on January 6th, just a few weeks shy of what would have been his 95th birthday.
Life and death connects us all. The recent loss of several near-centenarians and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the elderly has made us reflect on these individuals. After all, such members of society have a lot to teach us.
While some people may complain of aging, living into one's eighties, nineties and beyond is a gift bestowed on the living. Seen in a positive light, aging is one way of growing. Growth is what we're all here for; we aren't meant to stay the same.
A person who is 100 today was alive during WWII, the civil rights movement, the birth of rock 'n roll and many subsequent music genres. They lived through the majority of the headline-making events of the 20th century and all of the 21st century up to now. They grew up before televisions were in people's homes. Not to mention the changes they would've experienced in their own circle and within themselves - their minds and bodies.
When we reflect on what all these people have been through, it becomes easier to see the wisdom many have accumulated. Especially so for those who are introspective and have used time wisely to learn the lessons life is trying to teach each of us.
Who are the elders in your life? (Relatives? Neighbours, colleagues, volunteers?) What wisdom might they share with you? It may be worth giving one of these people a call. Or write them a card or letter. Ask them about the things you never got to witness or experience first hand, rather than make assumptions. They may surprise you.
Here are the trailers to a documentary and docu-series currently on Netflix that honour the experiences and wisdom of a few senior citizens:
It delights us when we hear our customers talk about using stationery to connect with others. We hope you benefit from the wisdom of our many elderly citizens in your life. We wish you many enlightening conversations.