WHAT A MISTAKE it would be to hang-out only with people my age or younger. I visit Evelyn a couple of times a month. I always leave refreshed, inspired, educated, humored and challenged. Evelyn is special, but not unique in my life. She is well-cared for by her family, but I have sat in the presence of many elders who are warehoused in facilities, languishing in loneliness; their wisdom & experience sitting like dusty books on shelves, waiting to be opened. What a missed opportunity.
Perhaps we are afraid of our shared fate of aging. Perhaps a symptom of our naivete is the shallow assumption that we will all get old some day and we don’t want to face it in a youth-obsessed culture. With all the disease and war and health crises in the world; just how does someone manage to live so long? What do they have to teach that we are willing (or unwilling) to learn? When (if ever) did they learn to relax into life and let things go a bit better? What, if anything, would they do again, and what, if anything, would they avoid at all costs? Is the world truly different today that it was in the past?
Go find an elder. I you don’t have one of your own kin who fits the category, borrow one. There are plenty of them to go around.
Peace, Dwight Lee Wolter