The Boomer’s Best Secret Weapon in America is Finally Being Appreciated and Respected

This Boomer Grandma has been hearing this for what seems like eons:

Americans do not appreciate and sufficiently respect its elders.

Then, I had an “aha” moment. This pandemic has changed that.  Our Boomer’s best secret weapon in America of wisdom gained from living a long life may have a positive impact on the rest of our lives.  And we elders finally may be appreciated for that wisdom.

The moment came while I was reading the Sunday, May 2, 2021 Sun Sentinel, our local Fort Lauderdale paper. The article appears on page 22, hardly given prominence. The title of the article does not reveal the secret weapon, “This Mother’s Day to Offer Reunions: Sting of Isolation easing as Many Embrace Vaccines.” It is the author’s, Leananne Italia’s, last paragraph that provides the biggest clue that led me to this conclusion that all ages of Americans are beginning to appreciate and respect elders.

“I was thrilled,” Gordon said. “It was wonderful. When you don’t see somebody for such a long time, it’s almost as if time never went by. That three years, in a way, disappeared.”

To have three years disappear after isolation of a pandemic you need a relationship spanning many years prior. Living through the pandemic (and I am grateful I am still alive) and fourteen months lost still feels like a lifetime having finite years ahead. However, looking back, our long life did more than just build the relationships that make years disappear. It brings a relaxation to life beginning to be renewed. We have long relationships that have worked, built trust and make collaboration and agreement and joy of life possible. Yes, also coming with all that is appreciation of the wisdom that comes with decades of experience and experiences. Generations younger than us crave experiences rather than possessions. They want their life full of good experiences and we Boomers know, from our own many years of experiences and experience, how to try to make life work again after the pandemic.

It seems now that elders are appreciated and able to impart lessons learned so that our children and grandchildren not only listen to us but actually hear us. One of our grandchildren wanted an electronics gift. I suggested that he go to Apple and inquire whether a new model may be released soon before just giving in to immediate gratification. I gave him my insight. Pause. Explore options as to models, features, and prices. Then make your educated decision. I expected he would say that I know nothing about electronics. I would have had to agree. With our history, however, he knows I was sharing my wisdom. My learned expertise. Shopping.

He texted me from Apple.  Yes, a new model was going to be released in June.  He was happy he inquired before just buying now.  I know he will use what he learned for other purchases in his life, long after I am gone.

In our government, where elders were and are in charge, I have hope that recognition of wisdom and experience, coupled with history and long relationships developed and nurtured, will prevail to make our optimism about tomorrow for us, our children, our grandchildren, and great grandchildren (OMG some of us are already great grandparents) worth the trust we are extending. I have trusted and still trust Dr. Anthony Fauci, born December 24, 1940, age 80, Director of the United States National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease (NIAID) since 1984, and advisor to presidents.  I watched Janet Yellen on television today. Jane Yellen, United States Secretary of the Treasury, born August 14, 1946, is 74 years old. She was the first woman to hold the position of Chair of the Federal Reserve and is the first woman to hold both of those positions. I trusted what I heard this experienced elder stateswoman impart. Her history and relationships make me recognize her wisdom, and make me trust in her and her vision for our economic future.

We have not heard the word, stateman or stateswoman, in a while.  I doubt the word is in our grandchildren’s vocabulary.  Let’s add it and explain its definition to our grandchildren. Statesperson: “a skilled, experienced, and respected political leader or figure.” I trust our elder leadership has the same goals to preserve and protect the future of our families. I am seeing that I am not alone in America. Finally, appreciation and respect for experienced elders. Trust and hope.

This is big to me. Our Boomer long years of experience and experiences have merit. Years melting away make the pandemic period of isolation more insignificant and what we can accomplish significant. It allows us Boomer grandparents the freedom to concentrate on time and relationships now and in the future on what is truly important. Family. Those close to us.

We elders are the secret weapon. I, a Boomer Grandmother, believe that living through this past fourteen months have made us Americans begin to cherish and finally appreciate and respect its elders. I think this is good coming out of fourteen months of isolation.

That we can never predict the future is something else we learn with long years behind us. Let’s see how long the appreciation and respect for elders in America lasts and hope with

 

Joy,

 

Mema

 

 

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