Baby Boomers learn compassion

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During the months of April, May and June, we have many days of celebrating relationships – Easter, graduations, Mother’s Day, weddings, Father’s Day, etc. Baby Boomers are in the school of learning compassion from the Greater Generation.
Compassion, an action of expressing sympathetic concern for those in need, is shown from showing loving kindness to others and expressing helpful actions for others including family and friends. This is exemplified through showing tenderness and consideration toward others.
With the greater generation, their word is their “bond” and they establish friendships for life. We Baby Boomers can glean the fact from the greater generation that relationships and friendships have to be worked on and kept up by communication and truly helping others.
One thing that is so unique about the greater generation is that they are letter writers. I love receiving many letters from my Senior friends on my birthday, Easter, Valentine, Christmas and other holidays.
I know that our generation is and have been busy in our careers and raising families. But one truth that we Baby Boomers truly need to learn is that relationships are really what matter as we age. It is important for us to nurture these relationships. Here are some tips that were shared with me as I sit and chat with my senior friends:
Spend time and stay in touch with family and friends. A quick phone call, card, or e-mail is a way to let your family or friends know you care. In living close to friends and family, delegating a time you can get together over coffee, an outing, or just a meal, etc. stresses that a friend or family member is important. With our elderly population, a date for a visit is very important in their daily lives and schedule.
During my sit-and-chat times with seniors, one area they truly emphasize in maintaining good relationships is good listening. They emphasize to listen more than you talk. My own 97-year-old mother emphasized to me “to have a friend is to be a friend.” Friendship is truly not giving your opinion, advice or “what you think they should do.” A true friend quietly listens, accepts who you are, and loves you unconditionally. They guide you in a loving way. We can have many friends, but to have a few very true friends is a blessing.
When spending time with our friends, it is courteous and important to turn off the phone, not text and try to focus on the time together. I notice that when I am around my elderly friends, it is as though no one else is around except the friend they are talking to. Their generation truly understands the value of relationships.
Take time to do something nice for a friend or family member. One thing I really notice about the greater generation is that they remember their friends’ birthdays with cards or gifts. Birthdays are celebrating the lives of our families and friends and we never get too old to put another candle on the cake.
Living among friends is truly good for your health. Friends help us to celebrate the good times in our lives and friends provide support when we are going through bad times. It is so good to have someone to celebrate our joys and to have a shoulder to cry on when we are going through sad and bad times.
Friendships give us a sense of joy, belonging, and having a willful purpose. Good relationships and friendships boost our happiness, contentment, which in turn improves our confidence.
The greater generation lived through the Great Depression, two World Wars and a rapidly changing world and culture, and realize that relationships and friendships are a constant promotion of overall good health. They have constructed a model for how relationships and friendships should function. Thanks to them for valuable lessons learned.

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