Choir Notes

Treasures Around Us
From Music and the Spoken Word
Delivered By: Jodi Hilton

It’s been said that everyone has a story. And the older we get, the more stories we have. Truly, our “seasoned citizens” are treasure chests of experience and wisdom—and with each passing year, they become more valuable. But do we value and cherish their knowledge? Do we take the time to get to know them?

In the rush of today’s busy world, seniors often get overlooked. Yet each one has a fascinating back story. Each one has weathered life’s storms and taken journeys the younger generation is just now beginning. They pursued their dreams, they fell in love, they raised families, and they built the towns we live in.

As life becomes more and more complex and challenging for the rising generation, it would be wise to seek counsel from members of previous generations. We’ll likely find that the problems they faced—and overcame—really aren’t that different from what we face today.

One man made a point of taking his son to visit a grandfather whose health was failing but whose mind was sharp. He thought it would help the elderly man to have a young visitor. But the person who most benefited was the boy. His grandfather loved him openly and genuinely, encouraged his ideas, and made him feel important. And the grandson came to realize that, inside, older people still feel like young people. He gained new respect for the years of experience his grandfather had and learned to appreciate his wisdom.

How wise are those who are not yet old but who seek the company of our elderly citizens! There is scarcely a better source of practical knowledge, lived experience, or wise counsel. We simply need to look beyond the aged exterior and realize, as Charles Dickens observed, that “every wrinkle [is] but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent life."1 

1 Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ’Eighty (1841), 244.

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