Opinion: 5 things to get from old people before they’re gone


Courtesy of themorninglaboratory.com

Grandma is metal as hell. Get her wisdom while you can.

Zane Zinkl, Editor-in-Chief

The older folks in our life, despite not always being politically appreciative of the plight of their youngers, are an invariable source of wealth, knowledge and culture. Though our time with our elders is always limited, the coronavirus pandemic threatens to take many of our closest friends and relatives, often without giving us the luxury of saying goodbye.

In this time of transition, and with quarantines separating us, it is critical that we do not miss the opportunity to take advantage of the resources our elders can provide.

Call your old person(s) today!

Here’s five things you might want to consider gleaning before they’re gone:



Whether it’s family histories, origins, lessons or just a good dad joke, the old people around you are a wealth of information that cannot be obtained anywhere else. Oftentimes, when your forebears are gone, they’re gone, taking cultural heritage with them. That is why it is so important to listen to their stories and keep a record of what they have to say. While it might not matter to you now, someday you’re going to wish you had paid more attention to the family story.



For many of us, our elders play a significant role in our lives. And because we don’t often think about it, many of us never prepare for the loss of significant people. Take some time to show the people you love how much they matter. Make sure you get your chance to make peace. They’re not going to be around forever.


Settling Affairs

The older generations are often the financial backbone of our families. Families can be complex, and inheritance can be messy. Protecting any estate and ensuring an equitable future for the family before a crisis hits is so important. On another note, if you are financially dependent on an elder, prepare for what your life would become without them. It’s never too early to plan your future, but with the pandemic on our door steps, it may become too late.



Experience and technical skills are not passed through the gene pool. Many of us grew up and gained skills in a technological world that did not value working with your hands. Our elders often possess skills that they never taught us. Even though society doesn’t always emphasize these “old-fashioned”skills, many of them are critical to living a better, more self-sufficient life. So whether it’s how to speak your native language, how to change a tire, how to write a letter or how to make chicken and dumplings, make sure you don’t miss out on the critical lessons your elders have to offer.



Plenty of people depend on their elders for advice. Our elders can be our greatest advisors and supporters. This is something that none of us should take for granted. Now is the time to make sure you get support for the big questions while you still can. Every lesson you learn will be something that might stay with you your whole life. 


Old people are a precious resource that we cannot take for granted. Even when there is generational conflict, it is important for young people to reach out. Failure to do so will result in significant loss of knowledge and experience, not to mention the inevitable emotional toll that will follow. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to do better while you still can.

Time is not our side now, but there was never any time to waste!