Intergenerational Relations Kids Meet A 101 Year Old!
How we view aging can limit our perspective or define our opportunities. This video proves that age is no barrier when it comes to communication and the lessons to be learned about life. All it takes is a bit of curiosity, two precocious individuals and the wisdom that comes with age.
Clara: Did you have forks or knives in the old days?
Alice: Forks and knives? Oh, sure, and spoons.
Alice: Hi, Micah.
Alice: I’m Alice.
Micah: Nice to meet you, Malice.
Micah: Alice, oh, sorry.
Alice: What is your name?
Alice: Clara? I’m very happy to meet you.
Clara: What are we here to talk about?
Alice: Well, I think it might be how old I am.
Clara: How old are you?
Alice: I’m in my hundred and first year. 101.
Micah: (gasps) 101?
Alice: Right. Did you ever know anybody else that old?
Alice: I don’t even know anybody else that old.
Clara: Where are you from?
Alice: Well, originally, I was born in Philadelphia, way, way over on the east coast.
Clara: I was born in New York City.
Alice: Oh, you were? So, you were born in the east, too.
Micah: How was it like back then?
Alice: We didn’t have radio, we didn’t have television. No telephones, when I was a little girl. There were not any trucks. They had wagons, and horses pulled them.
Girl: Wow, that must’ve been a long time ago.
Alice: It was a long, long time ago.
Micah: Back then, did you see any wars?
Alice: I did, and I was in the war. I was in the second World War. We worked on decoding and encoding machines, very secret work. The officers had guns, and they said, if you told any of the secrets, they would shoot you dead. But nobody got shot.
Micah: Good then.
Girl: What would you do for fun?
Alice: Oh, when I was a little girl? I had dolls and blocks. But I really liked boys’ things. I liked marbles and tops. And I thought boys were much luckier than girls. We had to wear skirts and stockings, even in the coldest weather. They didn’t have slacks or pants for girls.
Clara: Girls couldn’t wear pants?
Alice: That’s true.
Clara: That is not fair.
Micah: What is your job?
Alice: Oh, my job was teaching in a college. But I retired a long time ago. And I taught biology. And if you look at my shirt, you’ll see some of the things I’ve taught about. Could you possibly know what this one is?
Micah: Oh, that’s a spider.
Alice: Well, wonderful.
Clara: What’s your favorite insect?
Alice: Ants, I did research on ants. But you know what an ant looks like, don’t you?
Clara: Yeah, it’s like this tiny. They can carry a big thing, like a banana. Like, three of them can, even though they’re this tiny.
Alice: You’re very good, and you’re only six years old?
Micah: What do you like to do for fun?
Alice: Well, right now, I’m watching the Olympics. And I write books, I do puzzles. I enjoy email, I write to a lot of friends. I even play Scrabble, do you know how to play Scrabble?
Alice: No. You should ask somebody to play Scrabble. It’s lots of fun. Also, I try to get exercise every day.
Micah: Every day?
Alice: Some old people aren’t very well anymore.
Alice: Some of them can’t remember things. Some of them are really lame, and they have to have somebody help them. But I can do everything myself.
Micah: That’s good.
Alice: And that’s good.
Micah: And that means you’re really old, but you’re really good at it.
Alice: Yeah, and I enjoy life.
Girl: What is the hardest part about getting old?
Alice: You miss people. And especially when you live over 100 years, most of the people I ever knew, in my family, are already dead. But that happens, doesn’t it?
Clara: Yeah, a person in my family died.
Alice: And did you know the person?
Clara: Yeah, it’s my great grandfather. And we still have a picture of him up on our mantel to remind us of when I was playing with him.
Alice: That’s wonderful.
Girl: Are you afraid of dying?
Alice: No, I’m not afraid of dying. I feel very healthy and happy. My doctor said, “Maybe you’ll just die in your sleep.” (chuckles) So, I’m not afraid ’cause I have a good life.
Clara: What’s the secret to living a long life?
Alice: Being happy, working hard, getting exercise, doing things for yourself, not expecting other people to do everything for you. And all of those things make you live a long time.
Micah: Nice to meet you.
Alice: It’s wonderful to meet you. Have a great life. I’m very proud of you.
Girl: Thank you.
Clara: You’re welcome.
Girl: Nice to meet you.
This is just one of a series of brief but insightful selected videos I am posting that dispel basic myths, spotlight simple pleasures, and demonstrate what is possible when we change our views on aging.
As you view each video, consider for yourself, how much society stands to gains when we switch our thinking from measuring people in terms of “years of value,” to “value in their years!”
Age discrimination impacts us all. Join me in making a difference now!
You can watch the video for yourself here.