Gratitude Day 5: Elders

There is something about sitting at the feet of elders.  I’m literally like a little child at story time listening to their favorite book being read.  Elders are hilarious.  I guess they get to a certain age and stop trying to craft how words come out of their mouths.  They just say whatever is on their mind.  Most of the elders I know are not “politically correct”.  They are not rude, disrespectful or uncaring, they are honest, forthcoming and forthright but not “politically correct”.  They don’t bite their tongue. 

My grandmother is notorious for saying whatever she wants and will hurt your little feelings in the process.  She tells me and my cousin all the time we need to lose weight.  So now, I just beat her to it whenever I see her. Sometimes talking to her is frustrating because she knows everything. You can try arguing your point, explain to her that’s not the way it is but she is not going to waver. My grandmother is the definition of stubborn and resilient.

Elders have a wealth of knowledge.  Through my work as a writer and preserver of Black stories, I’ve had the wonderful privilege of interviewing people my grandmother’s age and older.  When I was younger I did not value their experiences as I do now.  Had I known then what I know now, I would have made intelligent investments, own an extensive amount of property, have enough money in the bank to be movers and shakers like they are. 

Today it seems we don’t have the same reverence for our elders like generations before us. There is an incomprehensible generational divide. I hope to be the change I wish to see. I am grateful I still have the opportunity to sit at their feet.

We respect our elders. There is wisdom that comes from experience, and I am not going to stop learning from wise counsel. ~ Marcia Fudge

Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. ~ James Baldwin

I feel very lucky growing up having interaction with adults who were making change but who were far from perfect. that feeling of not being paralyzed by your incredible inadequacy as a human being, which I feel everyday, is a part of the legacy that I’ve gotten from so many of the adult elders. ~ Mariam Wright Edelman

Writing Prompt: Name an elder who has had a positive impact on your life.

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