29 Simple Life Lessons I Learned From a 99-Year-Old Man


Anyone who has lost a grandparent can understand the initial emptiness and grief that contradicts the happiness and thankfulness you feel for having had that person in your life, even if for just a little while. There is something extremely special about the generational gap that exists in the grandparent and grandchild relationship. The wisdom and life experience our elders possess enables them to tap into a unique form of compassion. They love you unconditionally with a level of understanding that people without several decades of living can’t comprehend. Grandparents are more than just family members: they’re friends, allies, and mentors.

On his ninety-ninth birthday, I asked my grandfather, “What’s your secret to a long life?” He smiled and replied, “Pasta and golf.” Though he’s gone now, what he left behind are life lessons of love, generosity, and respect, all of which I intend to pass down to my grandchildren one day.

  1. Remain steadfast in your beliefs.
  2. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
  3. Always keep your promises.
  4. Never stop learning.
  5. Stand by those you love through good times and bad.
  6. It’s never too late to change.
  7. Always forgive but never forget.
  8. Learn to laugh at yourself.
  9. Respect is earned, not given.
  10. It’s hard work to work hard.
  11. You are the company you keep.
  12. Family comes first.
  13. Practice humility.
  14. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.
  15. Help those who are less fortunate than you.
  16. Never underestimate the power of prayer.
  17. Be conservative with your finances.
  18. Life is too short to hold grudges.
  19. Marriage is sacred.
  20. Do not fear what you do not understand.
  21. You can’t argue with stupid.
  22. Be the exception to the rule.
  23. Hold yourself to a higher standard.
  24. Dress for every occasion.
  25. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
  26. Life’s not fair. Get over it.
  27. History is our greatest teacher.
  28. An educated person is an attractive person.
  29. Plan for the future, but live for today.

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