I'm a strong believer in choosing friends of all ages. Younger ones give you purpose as you help to mold them, peers energize you and help you realize that you're not alone in your struggles, but perhaps my favorite group, older people, provide you with a wealth of knowledge, support, and wisdom. I recently stopped by a nursing home to visit one of my absolute favorite professors. She must be ninety years old by now, but she's as independent and strong as ever. After my visit with her, I began thinking about just how much influence she and other older people like her had poured into my life.This is my appeal to you to pursue communication with the older friends in your life.
Maybe you can do life on your own; maybe you have it all figured out. Or maybe you feel like you must have everything figured out, or that as an "adult," you are now required to do everything on your own. Let me tell you about a magical group of people that you may have overlooked: older people. What shall I call them? Elderly? Just plain old? Ancient sages of wit and wisdom? Who knows...usually the older folks will chuckle good-naturedly at whatever they are referred as. Anyway, these older people are surrounding you in your life. They may be connected to you through your family, workplace, school, church, neighborhood, or a myriad of other places. They are all around you. And the most wonderful thing about them is that they often have a purpose in their lives that involves you: they desire to make a difference in the younger generation. They may have retired from their careers, but they are nowhere near finished making their mark on the world. They will teach you anything they have to share: hobbies, history, life skills, etc. They will provide you with resources you wouldn't be able to find through Google. They will encourage you to attain your goals and offer any assistance they can reasonably provide. They are eager to help you figure out what we young'uns call "adulting." They are past pleasing people and will speak their minds freely. They will encourage you to believe in yourself and build up your confidence. They love nothing more than to find a young person with the same passion or hobby as them, and if they find you, you will be exposed to a treasure trove of memorabilia, knowledge, or history about your particular passion. Sometimes, they may cause you to believe that fairy godmothers are real and in the flesh.
Sure, we've all met the cantankerous old person who causes everyone to groan at their presence, but usually, older people are nothing but a joy and a blessing in the younger lives they reach out to. The incredibly humbling thing about them is that they are blessed by our mere presence. I'm exceedingly thankful for the older people who have chosen to embrace me in their lives, and I strongly recommend reaching out to and embracing the older people in your lives. The blending of generations is a thing of beauty.