Learn from elders

Illustration by Miles Huffman

Some of the best conversations I’ve had have been with the elderly.

There’s something about talking to someone who has lived such a long life that is fascinating.

They talk about their life experiences, what they’re been through and how they’ve seen the word change before their eyes.

There’s this look in their eyes they get when they reminisce about their past like they wish to relive it.

It’s kind of bittersweet.

It’s funny though because it’s almost always the same conversation. When I talk to Don Juan he always tells me about the time he was a solider for the Korean War. I could tell it was one of his prouder moments.

He goes on and on about how he was a general and how tough his living situation was but it’s good to see someone talk so lively about what their life used to be.

It’s the only chance they get to.

Then there’s Dona Mercedez, the lady who strived to be a lawyer but then she married at a young age and stopped going to school.

She tells me how she was once beautiful and how popular she was among the boys and now, now she’s stricken with a disease and not the beautiful girl she once was.

It made me realize how short life really is. How I’ve been taking life for granted. I haven’t been enjoying the small moments like I should.

Whenever I talk to the elderly I realize that I should be doing whatever I want. That I only have one life and that it could end at any moment.

I want to get that look they get in their eyes when I’m their age. I want to be able to tell crazy stories to someone who is willing to listen. I want to say that I’ve lived a good life and that I don’t regret a single moment.

Because that’s what they tell me. Yeah, they wish some things could have ended up differently but they learned.

So if an opportunity to talk to the elderly presents itself, take it. One could learn a thing or two.

Daisy Dardon can be reached at [email protected] or @daisydardon on Twitter.