Who Is Your Inspiration?

Who is your inspiration? Who is your idol?” one of my university lecturers asked us during my Masters studies at a Dutch Design School. She was hinting at famous designers, celebrities or architects. “My grandmother” I replied. “Your grandmother? Really? Why do you say your grandmother?” “Because she is a strong woman, and she is the glue of the family. She has survived cancer numerous times despite doctors predicting she’d have ‘a few months to live’, she is a true fighter and has a great sense of humour. She is like a second mother to me, but more importantly we are great friends”. My grandmother taught me that age is irrelevant.
Despite our 55+ year age gap, we got on so brilliantly, so much so that it took me years to come to terms with not having her around anymore. It left such a big gap in my life – I had lost a friend, an idol and a grandmother. With time, I realised I had also lost an important connection with a different generation, of learning from someone whose perspective had been shaped through such different experiences, historical events, and cultural manifestations than my own. Through our friendship I learnt that age is no barrier. Naturally our bodies age, there are cultural and technological gaps, but when you take time to listen to someone’s stories, learn from their wise words, see the spark in their eyes, and feel their sense of adventure and joy of life, connecting across generations can be so rewarding. Looking back at those glorious days of discussing village gossip over a morning cup of tea with my grandmother, watching her charm so many people around her, and seeing how she nurtured relationships with family and neighbours, inspires me to try to reconnect with people of all ages.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.