Every summer, when I was a child, for two weeks I took a trip with my younger brother to visit both sets of grandparents. The worst part of the trip was the 5 hour car ride, that at the time seemed like an eternity, to get there but when we got there it was well worth it. It was something that was always fun for me but maybe not so much for my brother. The time spent with my grandparents was like a vacation without the parents there to say NO. We could get away with more than when we were at home and the new environment was always exciting and inspiring.
I have many memories from those days. Of course we played outside, inside, upstairs and downstairs but the most remember-able part of the trips was when we spent time sitting on the back porch with my grandpa talking and watching it rain or at the family coal mining business riding in the big equipment. It was the things that I learned from the old lady next door or from my great grandmother's farm that I cherished the most. These things, that if I had been home for the summer at my parents home I would have never experienced.
Now that I am older I wonder what advice and wisdom they would give me or what they would teach or share with me now. When I was younger maybe I was naive and thought older people didn't know anything. As they shared with me their story I quickly learned that they have a lot of knowledge and even more wisdom.
There is a lot to cherish and learn from those that have lived longer than we have and filmmaker and photographer Andrew Zuckerman has captured some of that in his 2008 book inspired by the idea that one of the greatest gifts one generation can pass to another is Wisdom that it has gained from experience.
What can we learn from others? What exactly is wisdom? Zuckerman interviews many people including Frank Gehry, Clint Eastwood, and Dick Bruna (pictured above) to capture their life story, their thoughts and their wisdom.
Below is the trailer.
If I could interview my grandparents now I definitely would. I know their wisdom would be enlightening. There is something great about wisdom and knowledge gained from experience that has the power to inspire and change. There is a lot we can gain from those that have lived a full life. What is something we could gain today from our grandparents or those older than us? What inspires you?
If I had a coffee table this book would definitely be sitting on it. Check out the "making of" this project and more at the books website.
Purchase the book on Amazon.