- Laurens Rademakers
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What can we learn from "old" people in this forward-looking age?
TED is often futuristic, forward-looking, progressive and out-of-the-ordinary. But a huge archive of stories, experiences and perspectives is walking around us each single day: ordinary elderly people.
What's the most significant thing you have learned from a very old person? Instead of waging a debate about generations or about the obviousness that we can learn a lot from our granddads and grandmas, - please try to present an anecdote and then elaborate on it.
A potent lesson which I learned from my grandfather: a man shakes hands like a man, and straightens his back. I had indeed noticed that 95% of all hands I shake are damp, weak, uncertain hands, and that mankind's spine has weakened. When he shook our hand, it gave a feeling of certainty, benevolence and cameraderie. Nowadays I shake hands like a peasant, to the great surprise of many. People are subconsciously impressed and know that I have some self-confidence to show, without showing it off.
This anecdote tells me that we can even learn from the gestures and bodily postures of the elderly. Not only from their stories.