“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” – Mark Twain
Why do we celebrate age? It takes time to become our best selves – to fail and succeed, to raise a family, to grow a business or a career, to build a community. Wisdom is what we gain from age and our experiences over time are the only way to get there. In a society where youth is so often celebrated, it is important to take time to celebrate the value of aging and the irreplaceable value of older adults.
At Seniors’ Resource Center (SRC), it is our mission to keep people living at home as long as possible. This serves us all, not just because we all age, (if we are lucky), but because older adults are a tremendous resource. On a practical level, grandparents help raise grandchildren and care for loved ones, both old and young. Grandparents volunteer tremendous amounts of time and energy in the community. At Senior Heroes this spring, for instance, we honored local seniors who tutored children, sewed for needy babies and started a program to get bikes to kids who couldn’t afford them. These are but a few of the older adults contributing uncounted hours of unpaid support last year to our community. Many of our volunteers at SRC are older adults, giving back in many ways from tax preparation assistance to friendly visits.
Grandparents are the foundation of our communities. They offer patience and lead by their wiser example. Grandparents provide so much to us individually and to our communities. They are worth more than just one day to celebrate them, so let us take this day at least to remind ourselves of that.
It takes the energy and passion of the entire community to preserve the wisdom of our elders and to provide each of them with the dignity every person deserves. Take time this Grandparents Day to honor the grandparents in your life, from family to neighbors to all elders in your community. Make a call, share a smile, offer your support. You can take it further by joining us September 23 for the Gift of Independence Breakfast, where we will celebrate our mission and raise support to help more grandparents in our communities age with independence, dignity and hope.