The K nowledge of the Elderly

Joshua - Birch Run, Michigan
Entered on January 7, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: humanism

I believe in the elderly. In early history the elderly were given the most respect because they were said to be the wisest around. In modern culture this is an idea that has faded with the years. Regardless of their age, the elderly have so much to offer to myself and others of my age. They are loving, caring, and full of knowledge. I figured this out during my junior year of high school in an advanced placement American History class. At the end of the year we were given an assignment to interview someone who was alive during one of the decades studied throughout the year. My classmates and I were allowed to choose who our partner would be, but then we were to be randomly assigned a decade. My partner and I were the first two to be given a decade, and we were given the earliest of all the decades the 1920’s. After a few phone calls we set up a date to interview Lucile Woods who was born in 1915 on September 12th in Monroeville Indiana. Before the interview I didn’t know what to think because I have never interviewed someone before, and I certainly haven’t had a conversation with anyone of this age. The nervousness that filled my body had changed as she greeted us with a glowing face and a smile. After introducing ourselves my partner and I started asking her questions about the 1920’s. We found out that she lived on a farm with 5 sisters and 2 brothers. Her grandfather came from Germany and her grandmother from England. She had once rode in a hot air balloon to Albakerky and another to France, and that her family made profit from selling property to General Motors. She informed us about the Great Depression and how luckily it had no effect on her family. This interview helped me to realize that the elderly are more than just boring old people, but they are living breathing history. There is a book that I have been reading it is called Tuesdays with Morrie. This book is about an old man who has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease which involves the degeneration of the body’s motor neurons. In this book the old man barley shows much self pity but instead he shows care towards people he has never met before. This book strengthens my belief in the elderly because as they approach the end of their lives they are not afraid to show their true feelings. The elderly are filled with historical knowledge and life lessons, and they can help those with problems if given the chance.