I’ve been a volunteer with H2O since February 2021. For the past 4 months, I’ve had the immense pleasure of being able to attend our weekly H2O Intergenerational Group Interactions, also known as HIGI.
When I joined H2O, I didn’t know how much of a profound impact the older adults in our group would have on me. The older generation are so knowledgeable, passionate, and always willing to offer advice and support. They each have their own unique experiences and stories to share, and I’m so grateful that I am able to listen and learn something from them. Everyone is always so compassionate with one another, and it’s a really supportive environment.
I think the HIGI meetings have been really great at highlighting the similarities between these two different generations, making it easy for me to relate to older adults and gain a better understanding of their unique perspectives and experiences.
Our older attendees are truly positive role models that I look up to, and as a result I feel like I have a greater sense of meaning and direction in my life. The HIGI meetings have taught me so much about myself and about life in general, and it’s something I look forward to every week.
What could I, an active senior, possibly learn from a handful of young folks whose life experiences are so limited compared with mine? As it turns out – far more than I ever expected.
My biggest revelation was that there is no such thing as a stereotype – no one person who typifies a particular age group. Whether old or young, each of our experiences in life is what makes us unique. This forum presents us with a safe and supportive environment, not only to share our experiences, but to have open discussion on how circumstances have changed us and how each of us may help others to learn. One thing we all seem to have in common is that we all take comfort in our successes and experience anxiety at facing anything that we’re unprepared for. Having support and encouragement from others who have experienced similar challenging situations can help us expand our thinking and find solutions to issues we may be facing.
Being part of this group has helped to open my mind, to recognize that we are never alone, and because our experiences are so different, that we have so much to learn – about others, and also about ourselves. Age is not a barrier; it’s a blessing!
My experience with participating in HIGI has been amazing. I learned so much through information and wisdom exchanges from older generations. Interacting and hearing from older adults life stories give me a sense of purpose, improves my self-confidence and allows me to be more positive towards life in general. I loved to share my opinions on various informative topics that are presented and discussed in the meetings while benefiting a great deal from hearing the great advice and mature perspectives of older attendees.
The meeting atmosphere is very welcoming and friendly, which gets everyone to engage in the weekly topics and discussions. My favorite part of the meetings is the Q&A section because I can interact with people from different generations and exchange thoughts and wisdom. I witness the personal improvement that HIGI brings and I recommend this program to individuals of my age group for inspiration and the unique, mutually beneficial connection and unity this program creates between generations.
Every time I attend a HIGI meeting I learn something new while having a great time. There is always a vibrant mix of experienced older members and energetic younger members. The discussions are lively and informative but polite and professional, with a safe and warmhearted feel. Combining these groups was a stroke of genius; we all learn a lot and have an interesting discussion on a variety of topics. If you like to teach, learn or just participate in a spirited discussion, please try this group. Attend one meeting and you will see what I mean.
I have been attending H2O’s intergenerational Group Interactions (HIGI) meetings since January 2021 and I would recommend it to anyone who is seeking both meaningful and inspiring conversation and new insightful interactions in their lives. These meetings have had a huge impact on my life through the various stories told by the older generation, providing me with many valuable lessons and advice, as well as teaching me the definition of compassion and support, which infuse every meeting. As a university student, my daily interactions mostly consist of peers who are similar in age to me, which is why I value the older generation’s perspective, as it provides me with insight and a unique point of view of the world around me.
About 4 years ago I met Dr. Amin Mali at the Positive Thinkers Group meeting. Amin introduced me to his great work on establishing platforms for connecting young and older adults. I thought it was a great initiative!
As we grow up, we make friends in school and at work and become very focused on peers. With the exception of families where some multi-generational interaction exists, it isn’t common in our society to make regular and long lasting connections with other generations of much age difference. I believe this needs to change! I am glad I have the chance to join the H2O Intergenerational Group Interactions (HIGI) program and tune in to the amazing intergenerational group discussion every week.
This program has enabled me to make friends of different age groups with different perspectives and lifestyles than my generation. I found the conversations and discussions very much enriched by the presence of the young generation. So much to learn and discover in every meeting which makes me look forward to them every week! Also, I was the topic presenter a couple of times which made me study different subjects and broaden my perspectives on new things.
Further to that, seeing our generation’s experience, life stories, view points, older traditions and cultures being shared and very much appreciated by young people has been very empowering and inspirational. This program has given me the great feeling of being included in a larger community regardless of the age which is normally not the case. It has been very energizing and a fantastic way to brighten this difficult time.
I absolutely applaud the HIGI program, and encourage everyone, junior and senior, to consider these opportunities in intergenerational interaction settings which makes our fast-society happier, healthier and wiser. It matters today, and it will matter more so tomorrow. After all, we’re all AGING! 🙂
I am new to this program but I find the intergenerational aspect of it to be very interesting because of the age differences of the group meeting attendees. I do not have many opportunities to interact with college age students and young adults; my main connection is with people over 50. It is refreshing to hear viewpoints, different challenges, and struggles of individuals of younger ages. With the great perspective and inspiration this program provided for me, I plan to attend the meetings on a regular basis.
My experience with the HIGI program has been nothing but wonderful and I have been looking forward to each meeting! The incredibly welcoming atmosphere of the meetings encourage both young and older adults to share their stories, opinions, thoughts, and questions with no judgement from any of the members. So despite being an introverted individual, I always find myself confidently partaking in HIGI discussions due to the heart-warming environment.
I strongly believe that H2O’s intergenerational platforms such as the HIGI program helps combat the issues of ageism and ageist stereotypes. One thing that stood out to me about this topic is that in one of the meetings, the speaker who was an older adult shared his opinions on my generation. I’d always thought the older generation disliked my generation because of stereotypes such as “today’s kids are lazy…”. However, the speaker talked about how proud he is of younger people for our hard work and dedication, and this changed my mindset completely.
I have learned valuable lessons from the weekly speeches and the discussions around them. For example, one meeting’s topic was on near-death experiences where I greatly enjoyed listening to the speaker’s experiences. The insight on the topic, specifically from the older members, enabled me to stop and think about the things in life we usually take for granted. As someone who has lived alone in isolation throughout the pandemic, it was very heart-warming and inspirational to be reminded of the beauties of life and appreciate the small things despite the current circumstances.
I would encourage anyone, young or old, to attend HIGI’s and become a part of our community.
The H2O Intergenerational Group Interaction (HIGI) is a wonderful weekly opportunity for delightful interactions that span the spectrum of life experiences, perspectives, and vocations. Held under the umbrella of the non-profit Heart Over Heart (H2O) Network, I have found HIGI to be an invaluable source of wisdom, encouragement, and enduring insights on life. This community forum hosts some of the most thoughtful, engaging, and intriguing presentations and speakers that I have witnessed. After each meeting, I have come away with a renewed appreciation of the great public service fostered by H2O in connecting the senior community with younger volunteers, a unique setting that enriches the lives of both.