It turns out that there are some powerful benefits to have younger (and older) pals — a sense of vitality, energy, different perspectives and more.
I do a lot of volunteering and one of the organisations is Red Frogs. They are a bunch of young people who start off by helping school leavers at a number of locations in Australia plus Fiji and Bali.
Then then follow them up at universities, festivals and high level sports events.
Become a Perennial
Do you want to think of yourself as a “60 year old” or be defined by whatever number you happen to be? Probably not, that’s why you should become a “Perennial.”
Gina Pell, founder of The What, is technically a member of Gen X. However, she wants to shed that label and has coined the term “Perennial” — referring to people who are relevant across generations, no matter their age.
She says, “Young friends help keep one’s sense of adventure and possibility alive. But then I see the world through a Perennial lens so ‘young’ can also mean certain people who are chronologically older. For instance, I know 80 year olds who are more physically active than I am.”
Benefits of Friendships Across Generations
One of the best ways to become a perennial is to create bonds across the generations. There are so many clear benefits of having younger friends when you are older, here are a few:
Sense of Purpose: Sometimes friendships with younger people become a mentorship. Passing on your skills and knowledge is a powerful way to achieve a sense of purpose for your life.
Broader Perspective: No one wants to become the stereotype of an angry rigidly thinking old person. Having younger friends can help broaden and freshen your perspective. Learning about new ideas, new music, technology and more can really keep you young and happy.
Boosts Energy: Whether it is toddler grandkids, teens or someone in middle age, the young are generally active and engaged. That energy can be infectious and stimulating.
Really though, the net effect of having younger friendships is that they can simply help keep you young at heart.
Not quite convinced that you need a younger pal? Watch and read these five powerful and beautiful stories of friendships across generations:
A New Term to Describe Active Seniors:
Call Us “Perennials”