Dear Octogenarians—

I know there are thousands of you—probably past the age of 65 like me—sitting around doing nothing short of daydreaming. I also know there’s a lot of wisdom not being expressed. Everything begins with an idea, so begin expressing yourself by writing all the cute things your grandkids and great grand kids are saying and doing.
There seems to be such a disconnect between generations now a days. There is a vast difference in the things that interest different groups starting at a very young age. For example, I enjoyed watching some cartoons with my children like “Tom and Jerry.”  Now, it’s “Teletubbies,” which I have never been able to connect with. I know programs are not designed to connect one generation to another. Nevertheless, many are so disconnecting in so many ways, perhaps we should be thinking about that.
There are countless older men and women sitting around in personal care homes, just getting in starring time. I wonder why someone has not initiated some kind of program that places children that need help in school, or in other areas of their lives, in the company of these retired older men and women. There must be a staggering amount of wisdom just sitting around, rocking and knitting.
For example, if some child is having some sort of problem in school—either behind in studies, having difficulty getting along with others or even learning how to throw a ball—a program that sends the child to spend time with an assigned mentor would be extremely beneficial to both the child and mentor. How wonderful it would be if retirement homes and kindergartens were built side by side.
It really is such a waste to have all the wisdom and love just sitting around doing nothing when there is such a crying need for it in today’s society, on both ends of the spectrum. I hear news reports about some facility or another periodically installing a program of placing dogs in retirement homes, which apparently does a great deal of good by motivating the person in various ways to come alive to do something, even if it’s only playing with and loving a dog. How great it would be to meaningfully connect the elderly with children, who have so much to learn, while the elderly have so much to teach.
I really believe many children born today have superior smarts and need recognition and attention to develop. With working parents and a society that is so spread out—relatives separated by miles in between—children do not have the luxury of the company and teachings of generations far beyond their years, yet full of wisdom to impart if they only had a subject.
The popular TV show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” presents an entertaining program that points out the fact that one generation can indeed learn from another. And in this program, the contest is between fifth graders and a generation mostly in their twenties and thirties.
What I’m speaking of is a broader age gap, like pairing up a 4-year-old or an 8-year-old with a 65-year-old (or older) mentor. Whether it’s a girl or boy, man or woman, they could work in unison in some kind of program, on a regular basis…something more human productive than to teach and love a dog. 

I think there are many people out there, classified as the ‘older generations,’ who would like to be involved and doing more interesting things with their lives, if only they had a little bit more direction. In addition, those children who need assistance with their lives in the form of more attention from someone to help guide them lovingly through their formative years, would truly benefit.
More on this subject…
Let Freedom Ring!

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