The Wisdom of Generations Past

Take the time to get to know senior citizens. It’s well worth it.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about relationships between older people and younger people. You see, a women’s group I’m involved in with my church planned a night of hymn singing and testimonies that took place Friday night.

As a younger person, I appreciate hymns, but I’ll admit I like singing more modern worship songs a bit better. Still, in planning the evening, I learned a lot from the older women in the group (I’m the baby of the group).

Friday night when we got together, I was pleasantly surprised to see people of all ages show up. There were children, college students, parents, grandparents, and great grandparents all singing together. It was wonderful. Testimonies were given, words from some of the older hymns were explained, and a great time was had by all.

As I left, I reflected on what a treasure trove of wisdom our senior citizens are. I remember when I was in high school I had to write a term paper on the Great Depression. I interviewed my grandparents, and those interviews made a lasting impression on me. I learned that my grandparents had happy memories of their childhoods, despite not having any money, and that’s obviously impacted how I live my life today.

The same goes for the seniors I know from church. Whether it’s Biblical wisdom, insight on marriage and family, strategies for making a dollar stretch, or pretty much anything else, grandparents and other older people can offer great insight.

My grandparents have all passed away, and I miss them greatly. Take advantage of the time you have with older friends and relatives. Listen to their wisdom. Too often it’s easy for young people to rebel and insist on doing things their own way. It’s a natural part of life to assert independence. But be flexible enough to learn from those who have lived life before you. They know a thing or two.

So today as you go about your day, as you go to church, be sure to express appreciation for those who have walked through life before you. Sit down. Talk a while. You might be pleasantly surprised at how much they understand and how much wisdom you can glean from them.

Photo by Axinar.


By , on May 4, 2008
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.


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  1. Kate:

    I have also been thinking a lot about learning from our older members of the family. My grandma was full of useful little tricks around the home for cleaning stains etc but i was too young to take proper notice. Just recently my mother died and now i wish i had asked her more questions about her past and learn from her life experiences.
    I feel very sad now about not talking to my mother and grandma more. So yes i agree we should all be thank ful for our older members of society and spend some quality time learning from them.

  2. Homemaker Barbi (Danelle Ice-Simmons):

    Very true, I agree. Their knowledge is valuable and will not be available forever, sadly.
    Homemaker Barbi

  3. Well said!

    My husband and I attend church with a lot of old folks…and we have them over sometimes like we do the friends our own age, because as you said, they are a treasure trove of wisdom and insight and just a delight to know. We’ve learned SOOO much from these dear friends.

  4. Oh I LOVE your post! Yes, yes, older people are the most wonderful people to talk to! And though they are from a different generation, usually their advice and wisdom is timeless. It’s terrible how some of the younger generation just don’t appreciate at all the wisdom that comes from years of living life. Similar to Frugal Dad’s comment, my grandfather-in-law was our “Frugal Mentor” – he was from Scotland and was raised to be very frugal. My husband and I will still use his trademark phrase (said loudly with a Scottish accent) when one of us has made a questionable purchase – “Ya NAY be needin’ that!”

  5. McSwain:

    Well said. So many churches separate people by age/marital status, etc. these days. I purposefully found a church that does NOT do that, for this very reason. We need the wisdom of our elders.

  6. Mrs. PT:

    I second that. More recently I’ve thought about all of the knowledge our “elders” have and how I want to hear their stories. If nothing else, to just hear about their full lives and adventures.

  7. Nicole:

    It’s true in a world of home and offices, I could go days or weeks without talking to a senior citizen or a kid. Going out of your way to spend time with some of the younger and older members of society really puts things in perspective.

  8. My parents split when I was four, and my grandfather has been like a Dad to me. He is now 82 years old, and the wisest man I’ve ever known. I like to tell him he is my “frugal mentor.”

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