The Wisdom of Elders: Learning from Older Generations


  The Wisdom of Elders: Learning from Older Generations

Older generations have had more years to accumulate wisdom, and they can give us insight into the future. The experience of elders is a rich resource for those who are seeking new ideas and ways of doing things.

Unlike other posts about this topic, we won't be talking about how old people might not know what they're talking about or how older people talk too much; instead we'll be highlighting some of the benefits that come with listening to them. For example, you can learn about the past or pick up life hacks that work even if you've never tried them before.

Finding ways to listen to older generations is an important skill for managers, executives and entrepreneurs. It's even more important today as the world becomes more complex and we have less time to deal with our tasks. Plus, time spent listening can help you "rest" your brain from the overstimulation of a digital world.

All these benefits are made possible through time spent listening to older people. You can learn a lot about the past by talking with your grandparents, family members or friends who passed away. For example, you might ask them if they went through any hardships similar to what's happening now in their own lives and hear valuable information about how they dealt with it then.

If you're looking for a way to connect with older generations, here are some ways to get started.

Listen to your ancestors:  Some of the most interesting conversations about the past happen at family reunions and birthdays parties. In addition, there are various social media groups and personal blogs that talk about personal stories from elders. Choose one of these channels and ask your grandparents or friends about their past. One of the most common topics brought up during these conversations is how much older people think they were. It's a great opportunity to get tips on how to stay active and fit until you're old enough to be frail. Plus, if you answer questions about your own past, people might ask more questions about it.

Listen to the leaders:  You can also find older generations who have influence in society today. Start by asking someone in the media or someone who works for a large company to talk with you. A good personal example of this is Prime Minister Taro Aso, one of Japan's longest-serving Prime Ministers. He often interacts with different people on social media and he's always willing to share his thoughts on how he believes the Japanese government should change and improve itself.

Listen at work:  Even though some people might not feel comfortable speaking up at work, there are always conversations happening around you. Older generations have a lot to say at lunch breaks or during the coffee break which you can join. Plus, older coworkers might have some good advice for looking at challenges in a different way.

Listen to other people:  Older generations aren't the only ones who can share their experiences. There are also many different salespeople and marketers who can speak about their ideas and projects related to technology and market trends. Plus, people who work in your area might know useful information if you're looking for new places to shop or places to eat.

Regardless of where you look, there is always something new that you'll learn when listening to older generations. It's just a matter of having an open mind...and a few more years!

You can read this article, a version of which was originally published in Japanese at the Yamamoto Seisakusho blog.


Title:  Lost and Found: Finding Old Items Where You Least Expect Them [ARTICLE START] Not so long ago I had the pleasure of hanging out with an old college friend who had returned to the U.S from Japan after spending several years living there while his wife worked for Toyota. He had just gotten back into town for a visit with his family and was staying with them while he hunted for a job. When he told us about his plans to interview for a teaching position at an elementary school here in the U.S., several of us suggested that he schedule the interview in the afternoon so he could spend the morning looking for furniture and other household items to fill out his living space. Since they had been living in Japan, the couple had accumulated quite a lot of things and since they also had old furniture from his wife's parents, they were interested in using some of it as part of their new place as well as reselling it all. After hanging out with him for a bit, it was clear that he wasn't interested in getting his hands dirty, so I suggested he search for liquidators who might be able to sell him used furniture at a discount. He was reluctant to do this, but I convinced him that there was no need to go through the hassle of looking for things and negotiating with sellers. In addition, he could see everything first and decide what to buy without the risk of people taking advantage of him because of his ignorance of U.S. prices and business practices. After making the call, he met me at a local shopping mall and we went to our first location. As we pulled in, I could see a group of people clustered in front of an old warehouse. When we walked up, I saw that there were about 15 men and women carrying boxes out of the warehouse and loading them into vans. A few men with clipboards were directing traffic while another man was standing on the loading dock conducting the transactions for people who wanted to buy items (he would grab items from people who had brought boxes from their own storage areas inside and when someone came looking for something, he would look through his inventory to find it). My friend introduced himself and told them what he was looking for. As we walked into the building, a few of the workers grabbed us and asked what we needed. They took us to various rooms where items were being set out on tables. Some of the items were in boxes that had been thoroughly cleaned and organized while others were in piles of knickknacks that smelled like they had sat outside for years. The owner was a middle aged woman who was organizing new furniture for people who needed it repainted and reupholstered. She had about 20 boxes that she had already wrapped up, but she agreed to put them aside and sell them later if my friend wanted them. After looking around some more, we found a storage room full of unused books and records with some basic furniture. The owner let us take away the books and records but kept the furniture since he needed it to put in his living room. He paid $400 for all of it. Later that afternoon, my friend called me and gave me a play by play report on the day's events. It seems that after he was finished shopping and had decided what to keep, two men came into the warehouse asking if they could buy the remaining inventory.

Conclusion: A quick and easy solution to finding used furniture without having to deal with the hassle of garage sales or haggling over prices with sellers. There are also a lot of interesting items hidden away in boxes that people just don't want anymore.

You can read this article, a version of which was originally published in Japanese at the Yamamoto Seisakusho blog.


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