In our hundreds of interviews with America’s elders, one particular lesson usually emerged: the need for compassion toward other people. The word “compassion” had the original meaning in Latin of “suffering with” someone else. The elders told me that as they reached old age, they learned how important it is to empahtize with other people, to understand their perspectives, and to see them as fellow travelers along life’s difficult road. And they learned this lesson from an array of challenging, tragic, and uplifiting life experiences.

Legacy Project elders Jules and Marilyn offer their lessons about living a compassionate life.