“There is so much to learn from those who fought in World War II, marched for civil rights, survived the Holocaust, endured broken hearts, found a way as a single mom, and laughed and loved through the ups and downs.” Dave Romanelli, author Life Lessons from the Oldest & Wisest: Inspiration, Wisdom, and Humor for All Generations.
Americans in their eighties, nineties, and even hundreds in NY, CT and across the U.S., have lived to tell their tales - surviving the Holocaust, the Great Depression, World War II and living through the Civil Rights Movement. It is essential that we capture and catalog their decades of experiences to ensure we pass their wisdom along to future generations.
Seniors need our continued attention and love and we need their historical perspective and wisdom, a symbiotic relationship to benefit all. What better way for today's younger generations to better connect with their older family members. Dave Romanelli’s passion to learn more about the elders among us, led to his journey to interview seniors and publish Life Lessons from the Oldest & Wisest. His collection of fascinating stories provides us with a heart warming collection of history, wisdom, and secrets to a happy and long life. These are golden nugget life lessons for anyone at any age. One interview with a sage 103-year-old man, revealed he began his youth driving a horse and buggy, then later a Model A Ford, and now a yellow Smart Car. He says, “The first hundred years were the hardest. Everything after that is a breeze.”
What are the most important lessons you have learned over the course of your life?
More than 1,500 seniors in the U.S. were interviewed by World-renowned gerontologist Professor Karl Pillemer of Cornell University and were asked this question which resulted in the Legacy Project and a book on some of the most talked-about topics - love, relationships, and marriage. To learn more, access the videotaped interviews on YouTube and the critically acclaimed books revealing the way to lifelong, fulfilling relationships.: “30 Lessons for Living and 30 Lessons for Loving.”
Wisdom is In Your Backyard - Local Oral History Projects
The town of Greenwich, Connecticut, began an Oral History Project of residents in 1973. Co-sponsored by the Greenwich Library and the Greenwich Historical Society, over 990 subjects have been interviewed to date who have helped to make or witness the history of Greenwich, Connecticut, since 1890. With roots in Westchester and Fairfield counties, we at STEPS found this effort to provide fascinating details of lives lived in our own backyard.
STOP - LISTEN - LEARN
Taking the time to sit down with the older members of your family and community can have another added benefit: helping to combat loneliness. Study after study links loneliness with declines in both health and cognitive function for older adults. Take the time to sit down with an elder loved one, neighbor or visit a local senior adult day care center. Give them your full focus and attention and ask open ended questions to learn more about their journey. You may be surprised to learn about details of your relatives’ lives that you never knew and more!