It’s no secret that we live in a culture that values youth above pretty much all else. There is a giant market for anti-aging products. We dye our grey hairs and fight our wrinkles. Some take more extreme measures than others, fighting signs of aging with Botox, face-lifts and other plastic surgeries. Our culture is always looking for the fountain of youth, and the obsession with youth goes beyond just skin deep. There are many of areas of society where the elderly are often overlooked in a sea of the young, shiny and ambitious.
In the face of our youth obsessed culture we often forget that there is a special kind of wisdom that can only come with aging; that the older generation can offer the younger something so invaluable.
The women of our grandmother’s generation, and even our mother’s generation, are in such a unique position to speak into our lives in ways that our peers simply cannot. This may seem obvious but we are quick to forget that they are wise; they’ve been there! They understand what it’s like being a teen, a twenty-something, a thirty-something, etc. Many older women were at one time young girlfriends, young wives, and young mothers. They’ve made and lost friendships. Many of them have had successful careers. They have experiences under their belt that we, the younger generation, only dream about right now. And as we all know, experience can be the best teacher.
The older generations of women amongst us know first hand what it is like to live through the hills and valleys of life. They have experienced triumph and tragedy, joy and pain. They are living examples of the hope that while a circumstance may be hard now, it can and does get better. They have overcome heartache and fears. They may even have regrets, yet they know better than anyone that life goes on. They have an amazing sense of what is truly important in life.
I want to encourage and challenge us as the younger generation to truly take advantage of the wisdom of those who have gone before us. Think about the women in your life who are twenty, thirty, forty or fifty years older. Think about the tremendous strength, grace and beauty that they posses. We have so much to learn! Lets make room for the voices of the elderly in our lives, for their stories and experiences and wisdom. Lets laugh and cry and do life together, understanding that getting older is not a negative thing. It’s a beautiful thing.
And if you are a darling reader who is a part of this older generation of women I want to thank you. Thank you for your grace, your strength and your dignity. Thank you for paving the way for us to follow our dreams and be whoever we want to be. We applaud and admire you!
Now lets go share a meal, or have a coffee, or take a walk with women of all generations. Lets soak up all the wisdom that comes from experience and age and then go forward dreaming about the future, together.
Image via Scott Schuman, thesartorialist.com