Share Your Lessons

The Legacy Project is devoted to collecting and sharing elder wisdom, and we’d love to hear from you. Please share your lesson in 100-200 words in the comment box below. Feel free to share your own wisdom, or advice that an elder shared with you. 

314 thoughts on “Share Your Lessons

  1. When I asked my grandmother if there was any advice that you would give to younger people, she answered simply saying “keep your priorities in order and stay focused”. To many, especially a young generation of college kids, this advice may seem too simplistic. But it isn’t. Many young adults are surrounded by distractions and temptations every day. Speaking from a young person’s perspective who is in the demographic, many are prone to just caving into those temptations because on the surface it may seem fun or good, but it can end up hurting in the long run. If we take the take to seriously cut out those peer pressures and keep our priorities in order and stay focused, achieving our goals will be a lot easier. I know, it seems so simple. But I have a proposition for all the college kids who are constant faced with temptation. The next time you are faced with a predicament where you know it’s going to involve peer pressure, think to yourself “is it really worth it”? If every young person, in college or not, does this, our society will be a lot more productive and the young will flourish.

  2. I asked my 81-year old grandmother for advice as we go through the aging process. She recommends taking advantage of every opportunity you come across. She said that she would do parts of her life over again because looking back, there were times where she chose to stay in her comfort zone rather than branch out and take a risk.

  3. The advice I recieved was to be myself becuase people are going to like me for who I am. I need to always need be a good worker and save my money. And to always ask questions.

  4. Recently, I interviewed Frank Gabriel Campos, professor of trumpet at Ithaca College. Frank gave a lot of advice in this interview, and a lot of that advice alluded to being happy. He said that if we are doing something we do not enjoy for several hours each day, then that is far too much, and we need to ask ourselves why are we still doing this? We should have jobs and lives that make us happy and excited for each day of work. On the same token, when we are pursuing a goal, we need to imagine ourselves succeeding. By doing this, we are paving a road of success for ourselves. No matter where you are in life, it is not to late to start doing something you love to do.

  5. My grandmother is 83 years old and she told me to never limit myself. At a time when women were ony expected to go to school, get married, and then have kids, my grandmother went to college at UCONN, had two independent teaching jobs and married someone her parents didn’t approve of. She told me to “go after my dreams”, “never say i can’t”, and “explore everything that you’re interested in and don’t limit yourself.”

  6. I wrote a paper about my mother, who is 67, and here is just a short quote from her:
    “In my mind I am still young, but my body doesn’t agree. I guess I am lucky in that I am not taking any prescribed medications. Things start to fall apart and sometimes you feel like you are outside observing all these things happening to you. I’m surprised at how older people can be treated as “Invisible” to younger people. It seems like once you get past 50, or maybe even sooner, the world doesn’t recognize your opinion anymore. I’ve heard that this happens when you get older, but I didn’t really believe it. When you see commercials on TV or ads in magazines, they are definitely geared toward the young. Of course, because the advertisers can sway the minds of young people, but by my age, we have already made up our minds about what we want/need/ or subscribe to, so, we aren’t a target population. Except, we are helping the booming orthopedic business! The good part about growing older is that you worry less about what others think about you, or, how to impress others. You can finally be yourself. You have to approach old age with a sense of humor and the ability to laugh at yourself.”

  7. Slow down and enjoy life. Before you know it, it will all just be memories because everyone tries to grow up too fast and move on to the next stage in their life. In the meantime, always be kind to others. It will come full circle one day, and you will be happy you treated everyone kindly when that time does come.

  8. Finally when I asked him to impart some advice to the younger generations he said to
    not take things so seriously and get stressed out about the small stuff, because chances are 5
    years from now you won't even remember what was bothering you so much in the first place. He
    also said to make sure the person you want to marry is someone you really love because
    divorce is no fun.

  9. When I asked my 88 year old great uncle for his advice for young people, he told me never to give up and that there is always more to learn. He went on to tell me about the benefits of continuing education and having hobbies as you age. He continued this theme in telling me to take ownership of my knowledge and mind and to never stop using it. As an older adult, he just began learning to play the piano and violin, and I saw this as an example of his advice to continue learning and creating hobbies.

  10. One fascinating thing my grandmother told me before I finished the interview was her stance on pain medication. “You know, I take absolutely nothing for pain—you know I have a lot of arthritis, I’ve had arthritis since I was young— but I don’t take anything and its because i’m BUSY. When you’re busy you don’t think about your pains. Most of my pains occur when I get in bed when I have time to think.”
    This reminded me of how important it is to maintain a structured schedule. Stay busy you will find less pain in general!

  11. Recently, I interviewed 60 year old Jeanmarie Schields. She offered many different pieces of advices that touched on many aspects of life, but she thought there was one thing that was most important for people to hear. Her advice was that “even if you don’t agree with older people, listen to what they have to say…it may just be useful and relevant one day.” She believes it can bring validity to why some things are the way they are.

  12. I had the pleasure of talking to my Grandpa and he had some life advice to share! He said that he will always encourage those younger than him to get a good education and value the importance of schooling. He also said that even if you don’t get a college degree, at least get a trade that will keep you working (such as my cousin who is becoming an electrician). Finally, my Grandpa said to value good health and staying in good health while you’re younger. He says this will have a large impact on your health later in life.

  13. Take the time out to heal yourself letting go of the grief and guilt is the first step cause this will drain you. Unconditional love never should be misused to control you. Never accept the rude treatment and outrages demands. If you do this will place you in a world of rejection. You will become their enabler and you will pay deadly. What is wrong with requesting respect and love from our children now that should be unconditional. I loved to see when a grandmother or mother getting unconditional love from their younger family members it bring tears in my eyes. This what it should be all about we should never be looked as a entitlements care package.

    your children ,never be their enabler for sure you pay dearly. A good parents should be loved and respected. It seem that children think they have a entitlement. We as parent want our children to be desend human being who have morals.

  14. I awoke this morning thinking of older women and men in my life. I arose and began to think of their names. Later I prepared a list of seven Q’s from your site to be used as a start to begin to know them better. My plan is to ask for an interview and with their approval include the answers in a document to be shared with others. Now, I’m thinking of a small gift to give to each participant. I must purchase your book. Thanks for the continued success of your project.

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