Take the Opportunity: Listen to the Elderly

Photo of Shem-shem Pablo

By Stuart Young

Take the opportunity today to sit with an elderly person and listen to their story.

All too often in our busy society our elderly are relegated to the
corner of the room, patronized with one more cup of tea and humored
like children.

 My uncle died recently, he was 92 and in the last few weeks of his
 life I was fortunate enough to have the time on a few occasions to
 visit him and my aunt in the home they were residing in for a while.

 Each time I visited I made a point of asking some questions about
 their past and then sat and listened. There were some amazing stories
 that I’d never heard before and it was a privilege to hear them.

 At his funeral one of his friends presented his eulogy and I learned
 that during World War II, when my uncle was in his early twenties, he
 was nearly killed by a bomb that demolished his in-law’s house in
 London. Sadly his in-laws were both killed as was one of his young
brother-in-laws. He managed to get himself and his young wife out of
 the wreckage then went back inside and dug his other 10 year old
 brother-in-law out of the rubble – saving his life. That young man was
 now the 82 year old vicar that was recounting this story at the
 graveside.

 What an incredible story and I had to wait until he died before I
 heard it. Let’s learn about the lives of our elderly from their own
 lips, we will be amazed and they will be thrilled.

 Editor’s Note: Stuart Young writes his thoughts on How To Change Your Life One Day At A Time. He aims to provide a “set of 365 practical little guides which WILL change your life if you commit to implementing as many as possible.” You can check his thoughts here.