What can we teach, and pick up from our elders?

Shay Rago

Every generation changes, and improves in it’s own way as time goes on. Every birth sparks a new idea, belief, and even dream. These are what move humans forward in evolution, and morale standards. With all this change though, it leaves some people in the dust, whether by choice or unknowingly. What can the elderly do in a changing world when they were raised to believe something completely different than what we know now. It can be hard to say that your knowledge of the world is wrong, and some people born a generation before choose to hold onto the old ways. This is proven in a study given by Live Science.

One of the biggest issues with some elderly people is racism. The wars that ensued many years ago play a role. It’s hard for many older people to trust other races due because the Vietnam war was a race war. This doesn’t mean it’s justified to hate anyone who’s not the same race as you are, because as all of us at Palmer should know, we’re all equal. We can give this same knowledge to our grandparents, if only they have a willing ear. Sadly, the saying; “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, has some truth to it because not all people care to listen or believe what they hear.

What can we learn from our grandparents? We can gain knowledge from the past, including things that school can’t or won’t teach. Wisdom and common sense alike. We learn a lot from parents and grandparents, and although not all of it is good, we can use those instances to know what not to do in life. We can learn from others mistakes.  Nothing wrong with learning how to be better from an example of someone being bad unknowingly or on purpose. This is not to say all people older than us are prejudiced or have off-habits.

Can we teach them as well? In short, yes. We can. Some may be harder than others, but if you know you have the right mindset on a topic, then feel free to be informative. Some people like to learn new things. For example, if you ask your grandmother what she thinks about people in poverty, and she says “well it was by choice.” You now have the power to respectfully explain to her that it isn’t always choice, and some people work very hard for what little they have, and can’t afford to be middle class. Easy and respectful, and with luck she might believe you if you know the facts.

Keeping the lessons from our elders and giving our knowledge to them, means success and progression.  Doing as others have before is just the human way, but choosing to do it different is completely up to the person. Next time your grandpa tells you an old story, and you sense a bit of racism, just remind him that everyone is equal. Keep on shaping the future Palmer Terrors.