Aleteia

11 Life lessons from grandparents

ELDERLY WOMAN
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The elderly have so much wisdom and experience to share.

Grandparents can teach us many lessons that help to answer the great questions of life. It’s wisdom that doesn’t go out of fashion, and which the passing of the years only confirms. Grandparents, with their vast experience of mind and heart, become true mentors who show us a unique perspective on things.

When they were growing up, they didn’t have access to information or resources as easily as we do today, and yet they learned countless lessons. They’ve faced hard times, often including wars and other crises. With sacrifice, they’ve run companies and raised families, and their work hasn’t always been recognized.

Grandparents have been, in their time, brave men and women who were creative, avant-garde, and innovative. They’ve made heroic decisions. Some have crossed seas, learned languages, dealt with cultural barriers and migrated to other countries when travel wasn’t necessarily easy; the distances were enormous and the horizons unknown.

When we allow ourselves to be taught by grandparents, we learn what it means to have managed to persist for a long time and achieve goals that have made a difference, leaving a mark on later generations. Their lives are full of valuable treasures we can inherit.

Whether or not our grandparents are at our side today, whether they are accompanying us physically or spiritually, whether they are blood relatives or “adopted” by affection as mentors and friends, grandparents bring a message of life that’s helpful for everyone. Here are a few lessons we can learn from them.

Shutterstock-Lisa S

1
Embrace family traditions and build a home for everyone.

Home is a space where we are always welcome and loved for who we are. It’s full of traditions, songs, food, flavors, and aromas that make it a special place. Put energy into caring for your home lovingly and your home will be full of meaning.

ELDERLY COUPLE,
Jacob Lund | Shutterstock

2
Seek to live true love.

In every little thing you do, aspire to the fullness of love. Fall in love with life and keep a passionate heart capable of giving itself to others. Share your life with someone you love, not only with feelings, but with your intelligence and your will. Don’t marry for money or status; just do it for love.

LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR, CORONAVIRUS,COVID19
Courtesy of the Little Sisters of the Poor
"Last week, a few of the Residents felt so bad when they heard different places were short of masks. They decided to take it on as a project...They are saying, “We want to do all we can to help where we can!”" - St. Joseph's Residence - St. Joseph's Residence - Enfield, Connecticut

3
Help others and be compassionate.

Love without limits by expanding your reach beyond your immediate circle. Love until it hurts, and then love some more. No matter who you meet, never judge them, because you don’t know their situation. Reach out with generosity to those in need. Be the person you want others to be for you.

Shutterstock-Ocskay Bence

4
Never give up fighting for a good cause.

There will always be difficulties, but if you try, you can find the strength to keep going. Sacrifice and perseverance are worthwhile if it is for the sake of a good cause. It’s all right if you have to get dirty in the garden or get covered with flour in the kitchen, to get up earlier or to go to bed a little later, if it’s for the sake of pursuing your dreams.

GRANDMOTHER,
natasaelena | Shutterstock

5
Take care of your mind.

Read often to maintain a healthy mind. Keep a good list of books handy. Feed yourself with words. Books can be a sort of first aid kit where you can find “Band-Aids” made of words that will help you heal wounds and name many emotions. Reading can give you strength, comfort and even healing.

PRAY
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6
Don't stop learning and bringing yourself up to date.

Spend time learning new things. It could be sewing, cooking, carpentry, gardening or technology. Remember that you’re here to give of yourself and to bring something good to this world. Don’t miss your chance.

GARDENING
Shutterstock | Ruslan Huzau

7
Stay active.

You’re never too old to do things and to have a rich and active social life! Even in old age, if you health allows it, you can eat out, engage in sports, play cards, celebrate birthdays, dance, paint, visit family, travel and attend concerts.

CATHOLIC WOMAN
Itsmejust - Shutterstock

8
Nourish your spirit.

A person who goes regularly to church, reads the Bible and prays often will find the greatest joys in life and will never feel alone. With the light of faith, they will look at life with more hope. Live with a spirit full of positive energy and you will be an instrument of peace.

family
Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels CC0

9
Enjoy a good conversation.

People will be attracted to you when you know how to listen. Share life experiences with others and don’t skimp on having friends of all ages, beliefs, cultures and social classes. At some point you’ll find that there is something you can relate to in everyone.

LOVE
Lucian Coman | Shutterstock

10
Consider how you present yourself to the world.

Elegance will never go out of fashion. Invest in quality garments. Dress according to your age and the occasion, taking into account your body type and what suits you. Remember that the way you present yourself communicates something about you and reflects what you carry inside.

LOVE
Halfpoint | Shutterstock

11
Accept and experience old age in youth.

Fears are unresolved doubts. Accept the order of life. Open your mind to think about everything and seek the truth, even regarding mysteries such as death. Without fear, you will have a much fuller life. Learn to accept changes, to say no when you need to, to take breaks along the way, to ask for help when you need it, and above all, to be grateful for a new awakening every day.

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