Hear and reflect upon two distinctly different perspectives on simple questions in life, as we remember our growth and change through the years – The Leo Wertman Residence.
Oftentimes, the nuances in life unfold as we consider our priorities and mindset at different ages. We grow bit by bit through the years, and subtly, our viewpoints change as we gather a wealth of experiences. Recently, we interviewed our 96-year-old resident Anne Hersh, and Belen, a lovely 5-year-old relative of a Legacy Senior Living staff member.
To hear the interesting perspectives and delightful differences in their answers was a revelation of life experiences and wisdom shared across time.
For Anne, the most wonderful thing that’s ever happened to her was her husband. Understandably not applicable to everyone, our 5-year-old interviewee loved getting presents, of all kinds, and at any time.
In terms of ambitious, world-changing superpowers, Anne just wanted more kindness and consideration of others. Belen had rather the same sentiments, except more straightforwardly, just wanting to clean her home city and offer everyone a more refreshed work and living place. Speaking of more superpowers involving escaping into invisibility for a day, “I would be on the ski slopes,” Anne declared, while Belen rejected the power in consideration of others.
“Everyone would probably be sad because they wouldn’t see me. My mom would be worried because she always wonders where I am. She might think I got lost. I wouldn’t like to have that superpower to be honest.”
What would you do if you were a teacher having to handle students who don’t listen?
“I would just stop and wait until they settle down. If that works, I would proceed,” said Anne amiably. This was in contrast to the cute and creative decision of sending inattentive and unruly students to “a school for babies.”
There is further discourse on how to define maturity and adulthood. Is it by how big a person is or how they act? “I think a person’s an adult when they are my dad’s age. So, 36. He won’t even fit in my mother’s car. His head always touches the car roof.” Hmm, maybe a bigger car should be in consideration. “When they are 19, because of their demeanor.” That was Anne’s take.
In imagining the unfortunate scenario where one’s house is on fire, Belen had clear priorities on what would be saved first: “My teddy bears.”Anne’s purse is the first thing she would grab. “My life is my purse,” she said. Who knows, perhaps there is a teddy bear in Anne’s purse as well?
It is not difficult to relate to these responses and more ponderings on our respective differences, but collective experiences. Reading this, do you miss the idyllic days of childhood? What about the long years of adulthood that slipped by quickly as we graduated through education and productive work and various challenges? What do you think about in retirement when you sit in a rocking chair on a breezy balcony, enjoying the sun, contemplating your day and just maybe looking back on life thus far?
It is not surprising that there were thoughts that echoed between Anne and Belen and many others. To get a hug is to feel loved, as a transmission of warmth and compassion. And the best piece of advice from Anne and Belen?
“Be kind to others as others would be kind to you.”
“Give love. Also, apologize if you punch someone. That makes people happier.”