'Dear Elders' Dispense Advice Online
February 21, 2006 7:45 PM   Subscribe

'Dear Elders' Dispense Advice Online
The Elder Wisdom Circle was founded on the premise that people over 60 y.o. have wisdom to impart. Its members nationwide offer advice to thousands who e-mail the group's Web site.
posted by ericb (29 comments total)
On a slight tangent, I've found that there's a lot of advice (some good, most surreal) to be found at The Duplex Planet.

HAROLD FARRINGTON: Over light, hardboiled, scrambled, sunnyside up -
they're good for your love juices!

Consider the postage stamp my son: its existence consists of its ability to
stick to one thing until it gets there. - WILLIAM "FERGIE" FERGUSON

posted by Zack_Replica at 7:57 PM on February 21, 2006

My elders gave me protocols that have helped me run an international banking conspiracy.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:00 PM on February 21, 2006

Only awesome elders should be listened to.
posted by sien at 8:06 PM on February 21, 2006

ericb - no problem. I've been a subscriber with them for about a year now. It's a little 16-page booklet that comes out every month and a half or so, and is always worth waiting for.
posted by Zack_Replica at 8:09 PM on February 21, 2006

I have to admit, I don't get it. Am I supposed to join? Do I post questions? What is going on? Who. Am. I.
posted by hgbrian at 8:11 PM on February 21, 2006

I'm just going to sit back and bide my time until my own wisdom kicks in.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:24 PM on February 21, 2006

A pre-elder prone to sarcasm might conclude that with age comes not so much wisdom as indifference to effective website design.
posted by rob511 at 8:39 PM on February 21, 2006

The dentist removed my wisdoms.
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:44 PM on February 21, 2006

"Git Offa My Lawn!!"
**Shakes cane**

Truly words to live by.
posted by Balisong at 8:44 PM on February 21, 2006

This is very cool---check Rinchu and her group out--i'd ask them for advice anytime.--...She has led a fascinating life herself, having traveled the world and being one of the first female cab drivers in New York City. At other points in her life she has been an Interior Decorator, Artist, Actress, Personnel Director and the mother of twins. Elder Rinchu currently designs and sells custom jewelry.
After 2 years as an individual contributor to EWC, Elder Rinchu went on to form a group of Elders (Circle) at her Albuquerque New Mexico retirement community. The group is aptly called WIZEONES and has 14 members who meet weekly to dispense advice as a collective group. Not only do they have lots of fun but they obtain a clearer picture of problems other people are having. The arrangement is a win/win situation with the advice-seeker receiving great advice and the Elders feeling that they are able to make a contribution to society. The average age of the group is 80 and the group consists of 4 men and 10 women. They have scientists retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory, homemakers, actresses, an artist, a classical singer, teachers, nurse, retired military, a doctor, a lawyer, and they are hoping for an Indian Chief as a possible addition to their group, after all they do live in New Mexico. The group has received much local press and been featured in two newspapers. ...

I think it may be generational--or age--but I grew up knowing old people were incredibly smart and cool--much cooler than other adults. i really don't know many 20somethings or even too many 30somethings at all who feel that way. (of course, my grandparents and the other old people then were teens during the roaring 20s, went thru the depression and WW2 and everything, but never forgot the wild times they had, and had much broader and accepting attitudes to life than my parent's generation (silent).
posted by amberglow at 8:47 PM on February 21, 2006

Somebody was clearly listening to NPR this morning.
posted by drpynchon at 8:49 PM on February 21, 2006

Confusion-- this is just excellent advice--perfect. No moralizing, no judgments, not critical, not snappy in that "wake up and smell the coffee" way--and very supportive, honest, welcoming, and relatable.
posted by amberglow at 8:54 PM on February 21, 2006

aw...Due to an overwhelming demand for our Elder's advice we are unable to provide a personalized response at this time. To locate advice we have already offered others, that may apply to your situation, please browse our recent advice [ here ]. If you still require a personalized response we suggest checking back tomorrow.
posted by amberglow at 8:57 PM on February 21, 2006

This is a great idea that has the potential to be among the best applications of the internet. The example questions posted on NPR, however, prove that oftentimes exemplary ideas are painfully shortchanged on implementation.
posted by cribcage at 9:10 PM on February 21, 2006

Now these are the real Protocols of the Elders of Awesome.
posted by brownpau at 9:10 PM on February 21, 2006

Amberglow: Thanks. It took me awhile to figure out that difference between my grandparents and younger folks. Then I realized, Wait, their grandparents are my parents age. No wonder they don't like old folks!

I have this automatic tendency to like old folks. But I haven't been around to see my parents age. For that matter, I haven't been around to see my own generation age. I'm hitched to an X-er, though I'm a boomer.
posted by Goofyy at 10:20 PM on February 21, 2006

There's a website, Ammas.com, which had a similar premise. Due to the problems of adjusting to a new life faced by indians in the US, this website aimed to give advice thru 'Ammas', which literally means mothers. In India there is always some elder type person you can count on for advice etc, but when transplanted to the US this support sytem effectively vanishes, and they aimed to fill that niche. I found this fascinating, because it gave a window into the life of the indian diaspora. However, last year or so, it morphed from a volunteer basis website (anyone could be an "amma" and the advice was free of charge) to some sort of commercial site.
posted by dhruva at 11:32 PM on February 21, 2006

What's up with that logo in the second link in the FPP? It looks like they ripped off the logo from Night Owl Convenience Stores here in Australia. Or did Night Owl rip them off? Or is this just Night Owl's way of under the radar advertising? Or is this just a simple coincidence?

Nah. I SMELL CONSPIRACY! [/crazy rant]
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:54 PM on February 21, 2006

I guess getting older doesn't necessarily make you wise, I know some dumb old people, but there's something to be said for experiential learning. I'm definitely more like to listen to some old person who's speaking with confidence than a 22 year old yoga instructor trying to dispense some recently memorized wisdom.
posted by mert at 12:32 AM on February 22, 2006

I see danger here. Oh yeah, they're all smart and stuff. They'll probably try and talk you into a meet-up, say at Dennys. Then they'll have you cornered and go on and on about annuity or how you HAVE to keep the gutters clean or pretty soon you got trouble, son. Want to play "father-in-law" to you and make you feel like dirt.
posted by hal9k at 1:16 AM on February 22, 2006

When nine hundred years old you reach, look so good you will not.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:21 AM on February 22, 2006

I am an elder and I haven't learned jack shit. I do know this, though": whatever goes around makes a circle. Things change. Some things never change. The first thousand steps begins with taking out a loan from a friend. Don;t listen to anyone over 14.
posted by Postroad at 5:03 AM on February 22, 2006

I'm still waiting to see an "Elder Gods Wisdom Circle" online. Pray, so that you'll be eaten first!
posted by clevershark at 5:30 AM on February 22, 2006

age /= wisdom
posted by nofundy at 6:42 AM on February 22, 2006

The boomers show up and completely delegitamise age as a source of authority in America so they can go crazy and do whatever they want. Then, as they begin to pass into old age, there's now a sudden effort to again restore respect to "elders." Bah.
posted by nixerman at 7:20 AM on February 22, 2006

"Old people always tell you: 'When you've been around as long I have, then you can argue.' As soon as they're ripped off, it's a different story."

"'They took advantage of me because I'm old. They called up and said I'd won a new Mercedes, and all I had to do was leave $8,000 in a locker at the bus station. I was sceptical at first, because I've been burned by this 11 or 12 times before.'"

- Doug Stanhope

Age does not equal wisdom - experience does. I'll take advice from a 30 year old who's seen the world before I listen to a 65 year old who's never left the town they were born.
posted by longbaugh at 9:33 AM on February 22, 2006

Things my 85 year old grandmother knows. These are things she has actually done or told me.

When the sun goes down it becomes the moon.

When someone rear ended my car it was my fault because I'm a bad driver. But when she ran into the house when pulling into the garage it was somehow the house's fault.

It ain't good to hold babies upside down. It makes them retarded.

Never get married, just live in sin with a woman, that way you can pack up and leave whenever you want. (This one may actually have been good advice.)

That I should become a catholic priest. She's not catholic and neither am I. She raised us all Church of Christ.

That prozac and valium are the same thing.

Tea has more caffiene than coffee or any other drink.

Whole milk is good for you, but skim milk hasn't got enough vitamins in it.

Buttermilk mixed with crushed up corn bread is a good drink for hot summer days.

The best way to get rid of warts is to rub them with an old dishrag. Then bury that rag under a full moon. They'll go away a few days later.

So, no thanks. I don't need any more advice from old people.
posted by nyxxxx at 10:34 AM on February 22, 2006

Us Jews actually did transcibe the protocols of our elders of Zion quite a long time ago, and, despite my earlier joke, it has nothing to do with international banking concerns.

Let thy house be a meeting-house for the wise; and powder thyself in the dust of their feet; and drink their words with thirstiness.

Love work; and hate lordship; and make not thyself known to the government.

Morning sleep, and midday wine, and the babbling of youths, and frequenting the meeting houses of the vulgar, put a man out of the world.
Pretty good advice, actually, although that last homily describes my life almost exactly.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:00 AM on February 22, 2006

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