Oldies but Goodies: Learning from seniors

Oldies but Goodies: Learning from seniors

As teenagers, we learn many meaningful messages from the seniors of the community – whether they be our grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbours or general citizens. Even though Harmony Day has passed, let’s acknowledge the vital and harmonious relationship between the youth and the seniors of the community.

They have experience

Things in life will get tough, and no one has learnt this difficult lesson better than our seniors. When we find ourselves in the deep end of the ocean or the midst of a life-threatening jungle, it can be easy to feel as though things will never change. But our elders know that life has a rhythm, and nothing ever stays too bad or too good. It’s the bitterness that makes life sweeter. Seniors will say “think of hard times like bad weather – they too will pass.” Now that’s a phrase that turns a person’s day upside down!

 They know more than us

We don’t realise until we talk to a senior that we have such a long, long way to go in understanding how things work. There’s something humbling about hearing the real wisdom to which there’s no shortcut but a long, rich life full of learning and exploring. And it’s not the kind of cheesy wisdom you see in movies– seniors are vibrant and aware of the world because of their wealth of experience.

They know that life is more than work

Our seniors also remind us that life isn’t all about careers and that we can still have purpose and meaning in our lives when we’re out of the workforce. We live in a society that is fixated too much on careers and we often give our whole lives to our jobs. But we are not our jobs, we are individual beings first. Seniors show us that we are so much more than our professions and it is important to find time for those things outside of work that make us happy.

 They believe that everything happens for a reason

Many of our seniors believe that everything happens for a reason. It helps us to accept, learn, and move on. A centenarian once talked about World War II and the struggles he went through and said if it weren’t for the struggles, he never would have met the love of his life that he was married to for 72 years. As the youth, we should learn to acknowledge this belief that without one experience, the next experience wouldn’t have come along.

 They remember to laugh

Last but not least, laughter truly is the best medicine. One thing I have learnt from all the elderly people in my life is to see the humour in (nearly) every situation. It is great being around those who laugh and smile. Not only is their spirit contagious and cheers you up instantly, they also lead a healthier life because of all the worrying that they are doing.

Let’s get it straight: we do learn powerful lessons from our seniors. Thank you to all of them being a role model and a teacher in someone’s life.


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