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Connecting Generations...It's not about technology

By Stephen C. Schultz


“Mom!...Mom!...Mom!”,  she exclaimed as she burst in the room. Rough around the edges and worn from age, the door stuck for just a moment when she turned the knob and hit it with her shoulder at the same time. With an unbridled motion, she was through the door. The glass pane rattled and the faux wood blinds swayed back and forth as she caught the inside edge with a left handed back-swing and sent the door whistling to its closed position.



Past the old wood stove and into the kitchen, she kept yelling, “Mom!...Mom!”.  

While I’m not her mom, but her dad, I finally said,

“What is it hon? What’s the matter?”

She turned and said with a heavy breath,

“It was so cool! We sang Over the Rainbow and Puff The Magic Dragon with them!”

With her heart rate still up and short rapid bursts of breathing, she continued,

“We even painted their nails! It was so fun…but so sad. They were so happy to see us. One lady even played the ukulele…she was so talented!”

Then my daughter Emma, all of 13 years old, thoughtfully said in a somber voice,

“It’s hard for me to think that we all end up like that…forgetting stuff, lying in bed watching TV all day.”

This was the second time that my daughter has gone to the local nursing home with her friend from across the street. They go as a part of a church youth group to sing and share time with the senior generation. 

As her father, it has been interesting to watch her demonstrate sincere compassion and empathy for those who have contributed so much in an earlier time. I find it ironic that our most “connected” generation of all time is conveniently “disconnected” from its heritage.

It did my heart good to see my daughter and her friend selflessly attending to the very subtle needs of an older generation. To her, it was a fun night singing songs and painting finger nails with “Old People”. She probably isn't aware of it, but I see the development of a caring, compassionate teen that recognizes there is value in life beyond the latest clothing styles and technology.


Here are a couple of other posts that include my daughter. One is when she decided to sneak out of the house and the other is about her interactions with a homeless man in San Diego, California. You can check them out here and here.

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