We recently attended the Fall Aging Conference in the Twin Cities, a gathering of senior advocates. The first speaker was Karl Pillemer a PHD from Cornell University. Advice From The Oldest And Wisest Americans was the title of his talk. Since 2004 he and his team have been collecting answers to this question from older Americans.
“What are the most important lessons you have learned over the course of your life?”
In his talk he focused on three main learnings:
- The value of elder wisdom in the lives of younger people.
- Seeking lessons from older people can help combat age stereotypes.
- Engaging young people in elder wisdom activities can help bridge the generations.
Out of this work has come a wealth of advice on life and love from with years of experience. The wisdom comes from both their successes and their failures. He has documented his findings in two of his books, 30 Lessons For Living and 30 Lessons For Loving. You can also find many lessons from older Americans on his website LegacyProject.human.cornell.edu. You can even add your own wisdom on the site!