A common theme among the elders was to be open to spirituality. Few were interested in telling younger people what to believe. But their long life experience often has directed them toward a spiritual life, and it’s one of their lessons for living. Here’s Juliet, 88, who suggests that at a miminum we should be curious about religion:

I grew up in a religious family and I think and I am still a very spiritual human being. I’ve had a lot of interest in it because of my curiosity. I don’t understand people who are not curious about religion. I don’t understand people who just completely reject it, most of our wonderful poetry, our wonderful literature, our wonderful music have some background in some religion. So, out of curiosity I think that people should pursue at it at least a little. They don’t have to involve themselves completely, but they should find out before they reject things like that.

I think its because I believe in a spiritual being that I never would have survived unless somebody had been there for me when I needed the support of another person, and I mean a whole lot of somebodies all down through my life. There have been people, most of them I’ve had some contact with at some point when I needed them. Either a working relationship or a social relationship, but they just sort of pop up and they have no idea what they have done for me.