“Being old is good. You are experienced. You know what is right and what is wrong. But being old is bad in many ways too. Every morning, your family will go out, either for work or for play, leaving you alone. All you can do is knit or play mahjong with your neighbors. You cannot have a lot of fun, for even a little running will tire you out. Besides, you have to do everything slowly, making yourself impatient. That is why we should help the elderly. We should visit our grandparents frequently to chat with them and help them with housework. We can also have breakfast with them in Chinese restaurants. If I were a grandparent and if my grandchildren always stayed with me, I would be really, very happy.”


Turns out that my heart for serving older adults was already open before my first call with my grandma or my first Best Day storytelling session, which you can read about HERE. Turns out that I was maybe born with it deep in my soul. This is an essay that I rediscovered a few years ago when I was going through some childhood keepsakes, and now reread frequently for inspiration. I wrote it back in October 1991, when I was just 11 and living in Hong Kong – and somehow decided it was important enough for myself to keep and reread one day. I have learned bigger words for my cause now that I am “all grown up” (well, we can debate that all day, haha!)  – I now know it’s called “reducing older adult isolation.” But back then I already could see that a lot of older people feel alone and the only true cure is real relationships with younger people. Subscribe HERE to start to understand older people a little more, and make my childhood dream – a world with “really very happy” older people – come true.


All my best,
Benita Cooper
Founder and President
The Best Day of My Life So Far