Life Experience: It Doesn’t Come from a Website

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

How many times have you heard that expression? My grandfather heard it plenty of times. And he begged to differ.

“If you can lead a horse to water, that horse will usually drink.” My grandfather raised horses, so he knew.

Yes, he was referring to the literal meaning of a figure of speech. But only a person with experience—and years of it—could make such a statement.

That level of experience and wisdom that only comes with age is celebrated on National Grandparents Day, held the first Sunday after Labor Day. (Sept. 11 this year.)

It’s a day to honor grandparents and all those of our older generation, and to recognize the strength, insight, and guidance they can offer.

“Grandparents are our continuing tie to the near past, to the events and beliefs and experiences that so strongly affect our lives and the world around us,” read the National Grandparents Day proclamation signed by President Carter in 1979. “We all know grandparents whose values transcend passing fads and pressures, and who possess the wisdom of distilled pain and joy.”

“The wisdom of distilled pain and joy.” It’s not something you get from a book, a class, or a website. It comes, quite simply, from living.

And those who’ve done that the longest have the most to share. Let’s take the time to listen to them and learn from them. And to value them for the life experiences they’ve had that we haven’t.

The latest ads for St. Ann’s Community reflect this sentiment. One of them says, “I’m vintage. And I’m more valuable than ever.”

My grandfather, no doubt, would agree with that.

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