Words from the Wise

Managing relationships and struggling to find happiness in the world are just some of the many problems facing students. We are bogged down and tired of searching for that one comment that will make it all make sense. Where do you turn?

Who would have thought the answer could be found at local shopping malls and retirement homes. Problem is, we have to be early risers to get the goods.

Our seniors have had a lot more time to ponder life’s greatest mysteries and have the experience to go along with their valuable advice.

Venturing to Alavida Lifestyles Park Place retirement residence, I found several ladies who were more than willing to sit and let a student into their world over coffee.

“I live by the three As: acknowledge, accept and adjust. That’s what you have to do,” said Viola Hovey, 89. She explains that acceptance is the most difficult of the three As, especially in context of moving into a retirement home.

A retirement home is not the only place to find advice. Sitting down early one Tuesday morning at Ottawa’s Carlingwood Mall I ran into Raymond Roberts, 84, a former serviceman, and Rudolph Duschner, 78, a retired tailor. They were happy to share what they’ve learned.

Delighted to chat, Roberts told me to “value your friendships even more because you lose so many.” Roberts added that the key to leading a long, healthy life invloves two things: getting a good education and “drinking good beer!”

Duschner’s advice focuses more on the importance of liking your profession.

“It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you love what you’re doing and be the best at it,” he says. “It’s important that you like your job. I never worked hard in my life because I loved what I was doing. I got paid, but I was enjoying it every day.”

As I left Carlingwood to begin my day, I could not help but feel peace of mind with my path in life. Maybe something as simple as getting up with the early birds at the mall is just what every student needs to give their life extra perspective.


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