What would the wisest Americans like to tell today’s college and high school graduates? From our surveys of over 1200 older people (most in their 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond) here are a few gems for those heading out to college or to the “real world.” Like the elders themselves, their advice is by turns serious and funny. Pass these on to the graduates in your lives. Continue reading
Documented in the film “Red Tails,” the Tuskeegee Airmen became the first African-American aviators in the U. S. military and despite unremitting discrimination, they flew missions with great heroism, shot down German planes, and garnered a slew of medals. The also struck a massive blow to the forces of segregation and racial prejudice in the Armed Forces. Continue reading
Yes, the reality show The Bachelorette premieres tonight, and the nation will be treated to the suspense over who will get to hand out that last rose: Britt or Kaitlyn?
The question occurred to me: Is there one thing every young woman should know about picking a life partner (even if it’s in a more conventional way and not on TV?). I decided to ask the real experts: Elders who have been married 50, 60, even 70 years (Imagine Britt/Kaitlyn looking back over married life from 2085). What would older women tell younger women about picking a mate? Continue reading
We make child-rearing unbelievably complex. We read books, attend classes, go to counselors, make ourselves sick with worry. The mothers I interviewed in the Legacy Project raised about 3,000 children, have watched their own offspring rear grandchildren, and were themselves raised by parents — and have had a good, long time to think about their own upbringing. Continue reading
For National Superhero Day, I think of grandparents! Mine were superheroes to me.
So let’s hear from June, 84. Her legacy to her grandchildren is this list of her life’s lessons. Perhaps we all should pass on a list like this! Continue reading
What makes for a long marriage? It’s a question that social scientists and clinicians have tried to answer for many years, with limited results. We still don’t really know why, after the joy of a wedding, one couple ends up on the rocks after a few years and another stays together for five or six decades. Continue reading
One of the best things about writing a book is hearing from readers – it just never gets old. A little while ago, I received a message from Karen. Here’s what she said:
I am married to a wonderful man named Brian. Brian is the type of guy who will get up out of bed when he is off, on a freezing Feb. morning to start my car because I have a 7:30 a.m. meeting an hour away, or stop to help old ladies who are having car trouble. He is pretty special; he is also turning 50 this March. When we first got married and thought about milestones like this. Paris was our mindset, but now with kids and mortgages and bills that is on the 60th celebration agenda. Anyway, I found your books, and I think they are going to make a special gift for him and I was wondering if you would be willing to sign them! I was just hoping to make it extra special. I appreciate your time.
I’m a firm believer in the power of older people sharing their wisdom and advice for living with younger folks. But rarely do I get to see it in action the way I did at the University of Rhoda Island a few weeks ago. It was a powerful testament to the way the generations can come together both to share important ideas – and to enjoy each other’s company.
I recently saw a re-run of the popular sit-com 30 Rock. In that episode, television CEO Jack has a hallucinatory encounter with his future self, from whom he receives life advice that helps him avoid major mistakes. Most of us would also like to know which choices and decisions we make as young people will benefit us later on – or come back to haunt us. Although there’s no way to step into our own futures, we can in fact get a very good sense of what mistakes younger folks should avoid: We can ask our “future selves” – our elders. Continue reading
The life wisdom of elders in the Marriage Advice Project is a precious resource. For this reason, we invite these sages to be videotaped so others can meet them as well. We’ve been adding wonderful short videos of some of the long-married elders sharing their lessons for love, relationships, and marriage. We bet you will enjoy them as much as we have! Take a look at our YouTube channel. The elders illustrate some of the most useful points in 30 Lessons for Loving.