There should be a mandate that we speak with people with gray hair frequently, with depth, quality time, and purpose. Of course, I waited until I was 100 miles away from parents and grandparents to ponder what wisdom was said from our family members and friends who have gray hair, and now we are 200 miles away. Please know, I do not intend to say "gray hair" with any kind of degradation, but rather as a compliment, and a position of esteem, knowing that my baselines are:
Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life. Prov 16:31
The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair. Prov 20:29
In a culture where we try to cover up the gray hairs by getting our hair dyed, shaving heads, putting in highlights, and ripping out the darn crooked coarse strands when they pop up during a quarter-life crisis, there has to be something said for the life learned and the wisdom of experience that comes through the grays. We are also in a culture where we prize self-sufficiency and independence, so much that we have allowed our enabled-self to think we have no need for access wisdom or counsel, so why listen to them? We are fine on our own. I got this. I have my friends. I'm good.
I love to glean from those with gray hair and I (generally) treasure their words. With 5 words they can say what my 30 year old friends say with 100. With a few words they can silence a negative thought, calm a situation, and perspective comes quickly. Although they may sleep more, their fewer hours awake are more productive than my "busy" multiplied hours. They can read through a situation and thin-slice it, maybe because they lived the amount of time of my life two or three times over.
How can we impress on the next generation the wisdom stored up in these great minds? Shall we just tuck the minds away in homes or assisted living and have them "taken care of?" I would give up a lot to have our children be around gray haired people with consistency, especially their great grandparents. I'm sure it would enhance their lives greatly.
Have you been caught up in yourself and your own age group to a point where you belittle or tune out the older generations? I would encourage you to listen, ask questions, and seek perspective.
Perhaps it will help you grow a few of your own little gray darlings. Now, without vanity speaking, is that what you would want?