By: Baylea Bruce @Baylea_Marie [Yearbook Editor]
Members of the older generation get a bad wrap. Almost everybody has heard stereotypes like old people are slow drivers, all they talk about is “when I was your age..”, and they forget anything they are told within five seconds. People often times ignore older citizens thinking they don’t know what they’re talking about, are just not with the times, or hate all young people and will yell at them for running across their lawn. These are myths the really ruin the valuable relationship between the older generation and our generation.
I work with elders every day serving them dinner and interacting with them at a retirement home and I have witnessed many exceptions to these stereotypes. There are multiple residents who are way more hip than some young people. Often times residents have asked questions about iPads, taking selfies, and why the heck the Kardashians are famous. Many of the residents learned how to whip and nae nae and actually can do it really well.
Elders also aren’t wearing out of style clothing that they have had for years. A lot of the residents take pride in wearing in-style clothing and staying up on the trends. Sometimes their clothes are more stylish than mine. While they do stick to things that are familiar to them and aren’t walking around in crop tops and short shorts, they are wearing age appropriate and stylish things. Many residents wear Converse type shoes, skinny jeans, cute cardigans, Nike shoes, and brightly painted nails.
Another thing that younger people tend to forget is that they have had a lifetime of experiences and have a plethora of knowledge. Many of the servers have received good advice about college, high school, and just great life advice. They are not all about the old ways and keeping it that way. Many of the residents have given advice not to get married right away and have kids, but to live life while someone is young because there is plenty of time to settle down. While many of them do think there are flaws in our generation, they know that they weren’t perfect either. All of their experiences still have lessons that are still relevant to this day.
While older people are still stereotyped as old and cranky and somewhat crazy, a lot of them are just the opposite. So talk to your grandparents, smile and strike up a conversation with the elderly couple at the store. You might just gain a brand new perspective on the world and realize just how valuable our elders are.