Learning from “Life’s Lessons”

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Gerontologist Karl Pillemer interviewing contributor Helene Rosenblatt for the Life's Lessons book.“Older people are the most credible experts available to us on how to live well through difficult times.”  

-Dr. Karl Pillemer

Earlier this week I was fortunate to attend a special presentation about the book and project, Life’s Lessons.  I had the pleasure of working on this project several years ago, under one of my mentors, Dr. Karl Pillemer.  This week’s presentation was given to a reunion of Cornell University’s Class of ’45.  

Before Dr. Pillemer began sharing interesting information from the Legacy Project, there was an impromptu visit from several members of Cornell’s current Student Assembly.  How lucky to be present while these students asked questions of and listened to stories from the elder Cornellians, who described how their class is probably “the most fractured class” in Cornell’s history due to the long-term impact of Dec. 7, 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Many of them, both male and female, left to join the war effort, either by choice or by draft, while others were sent to campus by the Navy to study engineering.  Hearing where these elder Cornellians were when they heard the news of the attack:  “at the movie house”, on the bridge heading to the library, and how they knew instantly that their world was changed forever, was an opportunity to step back into history.

Precious Pearls from Pillemer’s Life’s Lessons

Lesson 4:  “Living a life without regrets.”  

One of my favorite pieces of advice:

“Take what is perceived as untouchable, which were told is unreachable and try them!

Take a chance, you have no idea what that brain of yours is capable of.”  

Wonderful words to live by!  You can learn more about Pillemer’s Legacy Project, and share your wisdom on marriage–the next book.

To learn more valuable life’s lessons from our nations elders, read Life’s Lessons!