Metro.co.uk has run a story about a Tooting resident's project to connect old and young people.
Old and young people may be stuck in an endless screaming match of ‘ok boomer’ and ‘snowflake’ but sometimes they unite.
Hoping to bridge the generational gap is 25-year-old Mollie Rawnsley from Tooting, London.
She began interviewing older people in hopes of writing a book about ageist behaviour towards them.
But Molly worried about alienating young readers – she still wanted her work to appeal to them, and not contribute to a generational divide. And so she began Letters To Our Grandchildren, asking baby boomers to write to millennials and Gen Z about whatever they wanted.
The trouble was, Mollie could only find eight people to sign up and they were friends and family. She’s asking other elderly people to get involved and correspond with their younger counterparts.
So are you an older person who could impart your wisdom on the younger generation?
‘It has always bugged me how we younger people can be both contemptuous and patronising towards the older generation,’ Mollie told Metro.co.uk. ‘And I began writing about ageist behaviour in the hope to turn my writings into a book’.
This endeavour meant she interviewed a number of elderly people throughout this year which included an ex-Olympian, a 90-year-old couple who were running a care home for other elderly people, as well as the man who won a Ryder Cup.
Mollie wanted youngsters to know about these people and their life experiences and to take something away from it. ‘It was all extremely fascinating but I couldn’t work out the best way to engage a younger audience on the issue,’ she added.
‘I started to think about it more and more, and then received a letter in the post from my own grandma. ‘She couldn’t get hold of me via my mobile so had resorted to writing to me a letter! That’s when the light bulb switched! I realised that people found it far more easy to articulate themselves if they had the opportunity to write their feelings down.’
Now, Mollie has started her project, looking for anyone aged 65+ to write to younger people in their lives, not necessarily their own grandchildren.
‘These letters will be based on various different topics, ranging from how to find love, how to find happiness, how to deal with loneliness, what it’s like to age etc.’
One of the writers, 85-year-old Shirley is delighted to have been involved. She told Metro.co.uk: ‘This is a lovely idea, what a wonderful way for two generations to connect.
‘I am inspired by this project and feel very lucky that I have the opportunity to be part of it and share my knowledge with young people that might really appreciate it.
‘So often the thoughts and ideas of people our age are overlooked and it can be quite saddening and frustrating, however, if we can find a way to connect with the young, perhaps together, we can achieve something really special!’
Shirley is delighted to be part of the project. Mollie is hopeful too, she just needs more people to write the letters. She continued: ‘I hope to then compile these into a book that will be aimed at the younger generation in an attempt to move and inspire them into confronting ageist behaviour.’
Mollie has also started an Instagram page, @letters_to_our_grandchildren, to spread the word. ‘I feel very passionately that this is both a unique and exciting idea that could capture the attention of many people out there (both young and old).’ she said.
‘I just need to spread the word!’ If you’re someone who’d like to be involved or know someone that would, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Grandmother and granddaughter - photo credit: Mollie Rawnsley