Each year on Grandparent’s Day, The Ripple Foundation hosts Elder Speak at the Snowy Owl Theater in Leavenworth. This is a multifaceted event featuring the introduction of each Elder, a 10 minute sharing from them about their life experience, and an open period for your questions.
Elder Speak was created to foster a positive connection between Elders and younger generations. Elders have the opportunity to share their wisdom and realize their own value in society. They are heard, honored and supported as they share their unique life experience. By bringing together different generations, members of each generation have the opportunity to be seen as distinct individuals, far beyond the stereotype we often project onto those with whom we are unfamiliar.
On Grandparent’s Day 2015 we celebrated our first Elder Speak. We spent an afternoon with five local North Central Washington Elders, who shared their stories and wisdom in a gathering of many generations. Supported by art, film, oral history, and discussions, we began with honoring the value that each generation has to offer. Everyone has value and every life matters. Our Elders have lived experiences in different times that offer younger generations a chance to ponder a different way of looking at the present day. We explored this opportunity to get to know our Elders and deepen community.
In daily life, we invite everyone to take the opportunity to honor, share and reflect on the experiences of our Grandmothers and Grandfathers. Ask questions for which you long for an answer or understanding. Every generation’s experience contains immeasurable value, so bring your own experiences with you, too. How have Elders in your life affected you? We invite you to share your stories.
After the program, there is an opportunity for further mingling and conversation with the Elders in the lobby as we conclude the evening with wine and hors d'oeuvres.