Spend some time with the elderly

Widening our social circles to include folks of older generations can broaden our outlook on life.

Alia Jeraj

I recently spent some time visiting my relatives. Although they’re technically my aunt and uncle, they see themselves as my honorary grandparents, and they do actually have grandchildren who are around my age.
 
 
During my time with them, I got to meet a variety of their friends, and I don’t think I spent time with anyone who wasn’t a grandparent. 
 
 
While it was perhaps not how I anticipated I would spend my weekend, passing time with my aunt, uncle and their friends enlightened me in a number of ways. For example, I heard about my family members’ lives in Uganda half a century ago, and I got to experience their present daily lives.
 
 
Not only was this information extremely interesting, it also helped me to better understand my aunt and uncle’s perspectives regarding matters we disagree on, such as candidates in the current presidential race. 
 
 
In all aspects of life today, there seems to be a large divide between the “young” and the “old.” Discussions about the precipice between millennials and baby boomers pervade spaces from offices to classrooms. 
 
 
Though many of us try to surround ourselves with a diverse group of people, we often neglect to consider age. Many of us live surrounded by other people in their early twenties — other than our professors, we rarely interact with people much older than us.
 
 
Given our status as students, this is totally understandable. However, it also means we miss out on the opportunity to gain different perspectives. We would all do well to make a conscious effort to engage more with people of ages other than our own. 
 
 
Alia Jeraj welcomes comments at [email protected].