It should come as no great surprise that those among us who have lived the longest would also have the greatest perspective about what matters most.
Elderly residents at the St Clair Nursing Centre in Missouri, US, have captured the hearts of people across the globe as a series of heartwarming photographs featuring older people providing advice to the younger generation went viral.
The photos that were shared daily as part of an ‘advice for the day’ series on the St Clair Nursing Centre’s Facebook page, was part of an initiative created by the center’s activities manager Debbie Michael.
Each image features an elderly resident holding up a whiteboard that features their age, and an important pearl of wisdom that they would like to share with younger people.
Advice from the residents ranges from heartfelt messages about “slowing down” to enjoy life and appreciating those you love, through to practical reminders like “pay your bills,” and “do your homework.”
91-year-old resident Bob’s sweet message that asked younger people to “Find someone to love, and keep loving them,” was inspired by his own 71-year-marriage to his beloved wife Norma.
And Bob’s first taste of internet stardom has actually resulted in the creation of a #belikebob hashtag and merchandising that the nursing home hopes to sell in order to raise money for their activity fund.
While negative stigmas around the worth of elderly people in society still exist, online initiatives like this can be viewed as a small positive step towards changing the perceptions around older people and ageing.
After all, if life experience is truly the greatest teacher – then the opinions of those who have lived the longest should actually be the most valuable.