We are led to believe that the older members of society are crotchety, set in their ways, and otherwise a burdensome suck to society and its social security system. True these may be, we need not forget that which they do provide: practical wisdom. Old people are full of these nuggets of experience that should not be taken for granted, for it is them who hold our keys to the past. Luckily, I have had grandparents to learn from.
I don’t know how many times my grandfather has told me the same old stories over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, but appreciate the hell out of hearing them because I might just learn something new each time. Through the life lessons that he and others in their golden years have disclosed to me, I have discovered a number of threads of truth that pervade many-a-elderly teachings. These are lessons they had to live to learn, but if you listen to your elders (a moral that seems to have been forgotten), you might be able to avoid learning the hard way.
Thinking through all of the bits of old knowledge dropped on me, I’ve collected a list of virtues that comprise a simple philosophy that helps guide me to think like an old man. It’s not just a philosophy, but a state of mind, one I like to call the Old Mantality:
Family is number one.
By no means is this a complete list of the lessons I’ve learned listening to elderly persons’ ramblings. Unlike us young whipper snappers, they’ve had (a lot) of time to reflect on their lives. So, instead of dealing with our annoying parents, in-laws, or grandparents the “easy” way--by to throwing them in a nursing homes to be someone else’s problem--I suggest that we care for our own loved ones and extract as much of their advice as possible, because there will come a day when we wish we had taken it. Although we live in an age where the world of knowledge is at our fingertips, must remember that Google cannot make up for true wisdom.
File under: philosophy