The Value of Talking to Strangers


As I walked up to my thinking spot this morning, ready to enjoy my flat white in peace, I noticed three surfy baby boomers already there. My first thought was, “bummer, I wanted to be alone”. However, they immediately greeted me with friendly smiles and included me in their conversation. The generation gap didn’t seem to matter in the least.


They were talking about some of their friends and how their health has declined with age. I listened with interest as they began to provide their wisdom and life experience as to why the three of them were still so fit and healthy, and very obviously young at heart.


One member of this surfy baby boomer gang, let’s call him Bob (because I forgot his real name), told me that the secret to staying young and healthy is not only to remain physically fit, but to always do what excites you. Continue to try new things and get out of your comfort zone no matter how old you are.


Jim then piped in (name changed due to my poor memory), adding that good social connections are also important, don’t isolate yourself! Steve (not his real name, damn this memory of mine!), sat quietly nodding and agreeing with his gang of surfy baby boomers.


I think often we look at ageing as a bad thing, as a time to slow down and accept that your body will deteriorate; and that your best years are behind you. Bob, Jim and Steve gave me some valuable advice today, even if they didn’t realise how much of a positive affect their words had.


Getting older doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying life. It doesn’t mean that you will become frail and sick. Yes, illness may happen, but you can do a lot to reduce the risk. It’s not just about staying physically healthy. Your mindset has a massive impact on how you will age.