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People Share Anecdotes From Older Generations That Changed Their Point Of View

There is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to be gained simply by listening to our elders. The stories they can tell, and the advice they can give, are invaluable!


Reddit user u/flyingkumot asked:

"Askreddit, what's the most interesting anecdote an elderly person has told you that has significantly changed your views in life?"

Just Have To Get Through It

Sometimes you're not meant to go over, or under, or around it. Sometimes, you're meant to go through it. You just have to get through it.

Elderly client in a lucid state, describing his battle with dementia.

-leaper29

Don't Miss Out

I was at a close friends wedding and most of his family was fairly well off. Many of them were feeling nostalgic because they were surrounded by family and everyone has grown up. Many said they regretted how many hours they worked when their kids were young in order to be a better provider. Up until recently I was making great money and working 60+ hours a week. When I noticed what I was giving up I did some networking and took a job as a contractor in a small consulting company. I work 40 hours a week now and leave my laptop at the office and don't have work email on my phone. I now feel like more of a provider because I'm a lot more active in my family's lives and it's awesome.

-Fallout541

One Crime At A Time

"Don't do more than one illegal thing at a time. That's what gets you caught." Security guard at my high school. It's good advice.

-LemonicDemonade

One of my high school teachers who just passed away a couple years ago gave me advice that I still live by to this day. He called it the "Four rules to breaking rules."

  1. Don't break the rules
  2. If you break the rules, don't get caught.
  3. If you get caught, take responsibility for your actions and make yourself better.
  4. If you can't do number 3, refer to rule number 1.

-Nataliewassmart

The World Won't Change For You

Met a woman in a nursing home while on clinicals who the nurses called a nightmare. Actually talked to her and she was not only incredibly kind, but also wise.

Not an anecdote, but she said something she lived by was a poem she had memorized in grade school. "Suppose", by Phoebe Cary. Just a snippet, but I recommend reading the whole thing:

And suppose the world don't please you, Nor the way some people do, Do you think the whole creation Will be altered just for you? And is n't it, my boy or girl, The wisest, bravest plan, Whatever comes, or does n't come, To do the best you can?

She allowed me to record her reciting the poem. I'll remember her fondly, and I hope the nurses treated her well after we left.

-bendovahkin

Love Isn't Found, It's Built

Met an elderly hispanic lady at a bus stop in Albuquerque. We went back and forth in Spanish for a bit (I'm a white guy so she was pleasantly surprised) and she told me about her travel plans to go to her son's wedding--a real cute story involving him and his high school sweetheart finding each other after a long time being broken up.

I had recently been dumped, and said something a bit mopey like "I wish I could find love like that someday."

She smiled, shook her head and said "Chico, love like that isn't just found. It's built. How many perfect, decorated temples do you think my ancestors stumbled across in Tikal or Tenochtitlan? No. They found a good, level spot, maybe some water nearby, and said 'Here. We can build something here.' Look for a clearing in the forest, young man. Not a hidden city."

That one will stick with me for years.

-grassyblue

Do It Smart

"If you're going to do something stupid, do it smart." We were playing with... "Fireworks" at the time

That was a lesson that I've taken to every job I've worked at since. Every time I go to do a job I look it over and see the stupid things I am about to do (Dangerous parts of my job) and try to figure out how to do it smart (Figure out how to minimize the danger in my work.

-Zinsurin

Tougher Before You Start

"The path looks tougher and longer before you start walking." My grandad used to say something similar to that , can't translate it perfectly. He passed away a couple of years back. When I think of him, I always remember these words.

-Manasi1208

Santa

My Nannie grew up in rural NC after the Great Depression to a poor family. She had hundreds of great stories about life growing up "on the Charles" or her grandparents' farm, but one that sticks with me, and will color how I raise my daughter, was about Christmas. She and her siblings believed in Santa, but they rarely got more than fruit or maybe new clothes as presents. She would return to school and see a little girl in her class that was a notorious bully and particularly cruel to Nannie with fancy new dolls, new clothes, things money could get you and she felt awful because she believed she was doing her best to be a good student, to be a caretaker for her younger siblings, to follow her religious beliefs. Traditional Santa mythos tells you good gets rewarded but that's devastating for kids who work hard at following the rules, being kind, etc. and still get nothing.

-Ms_Greenmachine

If You Know Better, Do Better

Once you become aware of a wrong doing or injustice - the responsibility to correct that in yourself can not be ignored.

Basically if you know better - you're required to do better.

Olowale was his name , he was a family friend originally from Nigeria. He was super smart and very humbled. He taught 14 year old me a lot about self responsibility and has no idea how much that one thing clicked for me and changed my life.

-MunnFl0wer

The Past Affects Us Forever

For my college religion class, we visited a Jewish Synagogue and observed their service. They have a ritual where they pray for loved ones who have died, and an old woman (80-90) participated with tears in her eyes. The Rabbi explained to us that she was a Holocaust survivor, and only she was able to escape as a girl. She didn't know if anyone in her family was dead or alive, but since they're presumed dead, she still prays for them every service. That really hit me, because people my age tend to think of the Holocaust as more of a historical event that happened a long time ago. But for these people, it's ever present in their lives. They also had a Torah that was badly burned that had been recovered from the Holocaust, I think as a reminder of those that were lost.

-ohjulian

Our parents can really be difficult sometimes. But sometimes they cross the line from difficult into "bad person."

Now we have to understand our parents are human, and they're flawed, blah blah blah. But there are times that they really only put themselves first, and those times can really be damaging to our psyches as children.

It's okay to have weird feelings about your parents. They have to earn your respect, just like any other human on earth.

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The End of Times Is Real....

It's always in the back of our mind, or maybe the forefront. You know you've watched "Deep Impact and Armageddon" and thought.... that crap could happen, and of course we cast ourselves as Bruce Willis or Ben Affleck or Morgan Freeman. We're always left with the thought of how possible is an Apocalypse. Especially in this day and age of climate change and pollution. Every second feels like we're just another step closer.

Redditor u/Aeiexgjhyoun_III wanted to everyone to ponder the possibility of the end of times by asking.... What's an actual, scientifically valid way an apocalypse could happen?

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Linh Do/Flickr

Dating can be pretty hit or miss.

But sometimes you end up on a date with someone who really surprises you. When Redditor lakecake78 asked the online community "What's the cutest date you've ever been on?" the answers were as heartwarming as you might have anticipated.

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Captain Marvel will be released in just under a month on March 8th, so we've got some interesting facts about the movie, cast and crew for you!

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/ Contributor/gettyimages

No body is alone in this.

These hit home for a lot of people. Unfortunately, the way we feel about our body affects how we interact with others. With too much focus on the physical in society, intimacy can be a challenge. Especially when we feel like we are always hiding a part of ourselves, literally.

The good news is as isolated as we might feel sometimes, no one is alone in our imperfections. We often exaggerate these 'secrets' in our minds and blow them way out of proportion. It turns out that most of the time, these embarrassing secrets don't matter to the people who care about you, and if they do, then these people shouldn't matter.

Redditor u/HalloumiBus asks:

What's the embarrassing secret about your body?

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