Listen to Your Elders



This morning I sat in the lobby of a fairly large hotel, drinking my first sips of coffee while the rest of my family lay sleeping back in our room.  I felt the need to check emails and a few voice messages before everyone else got up.  In between glancing at my multiple screens,  I watched an older gentleman chase an early-rising toddler around the room. The little boy was obviously a wake-with-the-sun kind of a kid, and I could only assume that this grandfatherly-looking man was indeed his grandfather and had agreed to watch the bundle of energy so the child’s no doubt exhausted parents could have a little rest. This lit

tle guy explored every corner of the room, grinning at anyone who would look at him and not stopping in any one place for more than a split second. The older gentleman also had a big, proud grin on his face, as he tried to keep up and follow his grandson everywhere he went. What struck me was the joy on his face as he watched his grandson greet the day with such enthusiasm. There was no annoyance or fatigue in the way he interacted with the young boy, only love and appreciation. The little guy came over to check out me and my computer, and the gentleman quickly scooped him up before he could push any buttons. “It’s alright,” I said, “He’s not bothering me.” The gentleman replied, looking me straight in the eye,  ”I’m glad. He is the at the beginning of his life, and I am at the end of mine, and I get to re-discover the world all over again with him.” What a great attitude, I thought, and when I voiced this, he simply said, “Appreciate today, and always try to keep learning.” Wow. Older people tend to have no qualms about offering advice, no matter the circumstance, as I am sure they look at anyone under 55 as a mere child.  And we should believe them when they offer us tidbits of the knowledge they have gleaned, because their perspective is one of hind-sight, a valuable point of view indeed. So, yes, I shut off the screens and went back to the room with my family, grateful for the unsolicited reminder of what is truly meaningful. Of course I did type out this article first, but THEN I shut off the screens…

By Susan Keller

Mother, daughter, sister, and someone who tries to listen to her elders!

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