The Green room have made a regular connection and commitment to visit Redleaf Manor a nursing home close to the centre. The children walked to the centre on a series of fortnightly visits, making genuine connections, sharing books, stories from day care, drawing and bringing Easter treats. We will continue our visits into the winter months with another series of fortnightly visits – the same Monday group visiting with the same elderly residents to continue to watch those intergenerational connections grow!
“Connections between generations are essential for the mental health and stability of a nation.” Margaret Mead
In those at either end of the life course – the young and the old – you find striking similarities. We live in a society that values adulthood, and in turn doing – productivity and ongoing activity. The young and the old share a different rhythm. It’s one that focuses not only on doing, but on the power of being. It’s the simplicity of playing with blocks or tending to flowers.
The young and the old are most closely connected with the essence of living. They can exist in a moment that’s the grand sum of past, present, and future. Rather than time being the enemy – rushing time or stressing to fit as much into time as possible – time becomes a comfortable companion, a circle rather than a line. It’s the experience of life in a multigenerational, interdependent, richly complex community that, more than anything else, teaches us how to be human. The richest forms of human development are most available to those willing and able to interweave their needs and potential with the needs and potential of others, especially those younger or older. The challenge now lies in going beyond a project or program here or there to making a larger commitment to intergenerational connections so that they become a part of daily life and the social fabric. “BENEFITS OF INTERGENERATIONAL CONNECTIONS”… by Susan V. Bosak Legacy Project (© SV Bosak, www.legacyproject.org)