Many college students dread talking to their family during the holidays. Endless questions are always thrown: "What's your major? Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend? How are your classes going?" These are just a few examples.
Even though talking to them might be boring or even a little bit uncomfortable, there are actually some reasons why talking to the elderly, whether they are your family or not, can be entertaining and beneficial. Besides, most of the time it would make their day to have a conversation with someone.
I learned a lot about elderly people, by just visiting my grandmother and grandfather when they were in nursing homes. There were all different kinds of people in the homes, and most were more than willing to talk.
One moment, in particular, touched my heart. I hugged my grandfather goodbye and walked out the room towards the elevator to leave. A lady was following me in her wheel chair. I turned around and she reached her arm out to me. I went over and gave her a hug, and she started crying. Like she didn't want me to leave. Even though she may have been remembering me as someone else, or not even realizing what she was doing, it reminded me that no one likes to be alone. Especially when you are nearing the end of your life.
Elderly people have a lot more life experience than I have. They have gone through times that I read in history books and being able to talk to them is like having a living piece of history. My grandparents grew up in Germany during World War II. Hearing their stories and struggles was really incredible. They gave me advice that I will cherish and take with me all of my life.
Another important thing that I have realized through these experiences is that, life is fast and I will never get moments back. I will only have memories. So speaking with people who are near the end of their life is very surreal. Sometimes people (especially people my age) do not look at life as a very fragile thing. Society and the age in which we live put so much pressure on us that, many times, we forget to live for ourselves.
I love having the chance to meet and talk to people of all different backgrounds. I especially like to talk to elderly people, because in a large sense, they really do not care about a lot of things. They have spent their whole lives caring, and now they are at a time to do what they really want, or reflect back on the life they have lived. I guess hearing about people's experiences—both the good ones and the bad ones—interests me, and elderly people have a lifetime of experiences to share.