I’ve learned a lot from listening to residents over the years, but it’s rare that I request specific advice. This month, I decided to change that.
In private conversations, I told residents that I was writing an article on advice from elders about how to live life and I asked them if they had any wisdom they wanted to share with young people.
Their responses were immediate and enthusiastic, as if they’d been waiting for someone to ask. They were so pleased with the question that I decided to ask my own elder relatives for their opinions as well. One family member, inspired by the inquiry, called to contribute further advice after her initial offering.
Many of the comments focused on wellbeing and taking risks in life:
• “If there’s something you want to do, go for it. Even if it doesn’t work out, at least you tried.”
• “Do what you can while you can do it. Take a chance!”
• “Do things you enjoy and keep as busy as your health will allow.”
• “Don’t overdo it.”
Others centered on maintaining independence:
• “Do the best you can and save a dime, because now when they jump me for money, I got a little something to pull out.”
• “Try to have something of your own, not your mother’s, not your father’s.”
Several people offered relationship advice:
• “Pay attention to your spouse but be an individual too.”