Earlier this week I was honored by a piece in 303 Magazine HERE , a Denver lifestyle, fashion, culture and entertainment publication published by 303 Mixed Media Agency. 303 provides daily original content across the social web to its audience, and has been in the publishing business for over 14 years.

The article was written by the extraordinary, talented and beautiful Karysma Hicks @karysmadanae who I met at an event earlier this year.  I thoroughly enjoyed the interview with Karysma , which along with the photos published in this post, are included in the piece in the magazine. Karysma is 22, and I was impressed that she was interested in learning more about a woman who is 75. We share a passionate interest in style, and she was curious about my perceptions and about ageism.  In fact, everyone involved in the photo shoot for this article was much younger than me.  All participants were professional, respectful, creative, and fun.  An example of intergenerational relationships at their best.

I am a big fan of cultivating relationships with people who are different from me. However, today I will focus on how the differences of age in relationships enhance my life. It reminds me of my last post in which I spoke of the benefits of travel HERE and I realized that many of the gifts to my life are the same. It looks to me as though I can attain the same growth  in my daily life without hopping on a plane to places unknown!

  • Improves social and communication skills.
  • Creates memories.
  • Helps you achieve original and creative thoughts.
  • Broadens your horizons.
  • Enhances your tolerance for uncertainty.
  • Boosts your confidence:
  • Provides real-life education.
  • You experience the interconnectedness of humanity.
  • You realize that we all share similar needs.
  • Helps you have fun.
  • Helps you get to know yourself.
  • You realize how little you know about the world.
  • Sharpens the mind and changes perspective.

In addition to the above factors, intergenerational relationships decrease ageism in that they break down stereotypes, enrich lives, relieve fears of growing old, help us feel connected, decrease unhealthy competition, provide respect for reciprocity, help us grow emotionally and mentally, and create social solidarity. It’s also been proven that intergenerational friendships are not only enjoyable; they’re beneficial to the mental and physical health of both parties. Younger and older generations tend to experience lower rates of anxiety and depression when they’re more acquainted with one another. It provides old and young crucial opportunities to learn from and help one another. Life is certainly more enjoyable when you’re convinced that other generations are not “the other,” and sometimes getting to know a differently aged human is what it takes to realize that.

Currently I have relationships with people who represent most decades, beginning with my two and one-half year old grandson through people in their 80’s.  With the death of my 97 year-old mother, I realize that I would like to seek out someone who represents this decade or older. As I go about my day, I am aware of who I meet and the groups that I’m a part of. Who is represented in the mix? What do I need to do to create a life that adds more representation, not only of age differences, but differences in general?  I want this to be part of the fabric of my life, and feel passionate about its power to change my life for the better. Please share your experiences with intergenerational relationships in the comments below.

Photos by Rebecca Grant HERE, Styling by Ernesto Prada HERE, Clothing supplied by Eileen Fisher HERE, Hats from Style Crone’s Hat Room.

“It’s shocking how age-segregated American society is …Nothing changes if we stay in our silos, and one of the really, really important things about living in society is having friends of all ages. It connects people empathetically, and that’s critically important.”
–Ashton Applewhite, author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism (2016 HERE
Linking up with Patti’s Visible Monday HERE, Catherine’s #iwillwearwhatilike HERE at Not Dressed As Lamb and Cherie’s Shoe and Tell Fashion Link Up HERE at Style Nudge.

15 Comments

  1. You are so right, Judith!! We can all learn from each other no matter what our age!! In fact, I think we almost learn more from those in other age groups because you get a different perspective!!
    Were your ears ringing this weekend? We were talking about you because we were at Your Best Friend’s Closet in Cherry Creek, and I tried on a fabulous hat. The owner said she’s met you!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

  2. I am so glad you blogged about this! I am 62, and my closest friends at the moment are 32 and 77. I love being in the middle, hearing the views of those both younger and older. From the younger, I receive youthful energy and enthusiasm, which is of huge benefit to me. From the older, I receive wisdom and perspective I haven’t yet attained. I’m delighted to have these friends. And, like you, I seek out those who are not like me, for all the reasons you cite.
    Thanks for articulating it so clearly.

  3. This is an important post. Being able to interact with many generations keeps us connected and engaged. At the same time raising awareness with those we interact with that there is a flow to life. We are not defined by our birthdate. Preconceived notions disappear when we have conversations, share experiences, and enjoy our lives.

  4. You are so right Judith. I have a very special relationship with both my eldest granddaughter aged 26 and my youngest one who is nearly 5. In between are 8 others. Daisy is an accomplished portrait painter but she always finds time for me and sends messages late at night! I am the same age as you and I admire and value my few friends who are in their nineties, in particular two sisters living in their own homes still, one in Italy and one near Bath where I live.
    You are an inspiration to me!
    Ann

  5. We need each other. It is simple — and complex– as that.
    I hate all the trappings of towns that seek to segregate me (a fifty something) from kids, 90 year olds and those who have opinions different from mine. How can I learn or grow if all I see and hear is what I live day to day? Your list nailed it. I am a fan of your fashion and your thought… Pammie

  6. I want to echo the previous responses. What a thoughtful post, as usual Judith. I have found the age segregation getting worse and worse. I suppose its to make it easier to market to the various segments. Like you and others, I have valued my cross generational relationships. This weekend, I’m going to the wedding of two friends in their 20s — present I’m sure will be people all over the age spectrum in part because that’s how these two women live — without boundaries.

    It can be difficult to find opportunities to step over these artificial barriers but we have to do it. The richness and beauty of the resulting friendships is critical to ourselves, and dare I say, to the world.
    Linda

  7. Wow! Your blog really seems to be a genuine one. I have gone through all your posts and I`m highly inspired by your blog. I can`t resist myself from following your blog.  Keep it up, buddy. 

  8. You look absolutely stunning as usual, but even so – lovely!

    What a very thoughtful and thought provoking post, Judith. I share your sentiments. We all need to mix with people outside our bubbles and boundaries. To explore and reach out to others is the very essence of life – I’m with you there, Judith!

  9. The article is an excellent summary of your style journey, and the photos are beautiful (like their subject). I think it’s very important to have people in your life from a range of ages. I remember how special it was for me to meet you and some of the New York bloggers who are anywhere from a half a dozen to almost 20 years older than I am, and what a positive impact knowing you has had on my feelings about ageing. My closest friend is 15 years younger than I am, and I enjoy spending time with another friend and her 20-something daughter. I wish I would have had older women in my life when I was a teenager that I could have talked to about ageing and other life challenges.

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