42 Timeless Quotes About Age and Wisdom to Learn From Older People for a Better Life
March 21, 2023
Deena, Amy’s Eden founder, used to look after her grandmother in her care home. She would often stay for hours over a late afternoon tea and listen to her oma, narrating exciting anecdotes of her younger self—her struggles in life, unforgettable experiences, and lessons learned.
One day she asked, “How do you live to be 100, oma?” Her grandmother humorously replied, “Eat steel-cut oats and dark chocolate, and be less neurotic.” Perhaps it was another way of saying to her not to take life seriously and take deep breaths during insane moments. Deena got a great deal of wisdom from her oma, which she lives by to this day.
People who have spent time with their grandparents or got a chance to talk to a random older person on the street know that people who carry years of experience on their backs are repositories of wisdom. After all, experience is the true teacher.
Younger people can learn a couple of quotes about wisdom and age from those who have walked down the road. So we’ve collated the best quotes about life, learning, and growing old to share them with you.
On the Unique Beauty of Life
People who’ve spent some time with their grandparents in their own home or assisted home know they have a unique perspective on life. Here are those fascinating views encapsulated in quotes.
“Old age is just a record of one’s whole life.” – Muhammad Ali
“Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life.” – Kitty O’Neill Collins
“As with wine, life gets better with age.” – Unknown
When you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you…If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster. That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life. – Warren Buffett, in his speech addressing students at the University of Georgia.
“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
“Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.” – Benjamin Franklin
“That’s another great thing about getting older. Your life is written on your face.” – Frances McDormand
“Our wrinkles are our medals of the passage of life. They are what we have been through and who we want to be.” – Lauren Hutton
“Live your life and forget your age.” – Norman Vincent Peale
“Oh, the worst of all tragedies is not to die young, but to live until I am seventy-five and yet not ever truly to have lived.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
On Compassion for Others
As you progress through life, you slowly learn to shed selfishness and develop compassion for others. Here are inspirational old age wisdom quotes on being a help to others.
“The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.” – Carson McCullers
“We can all make a difference in the lives of others in need because it is the most simple of gestures that make the most significant of differences.” – Miya Yamanouchi
“Give yourself entirely to those around you. Be generous with your blessings. A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” – Steve Maraboli
“Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything.” – Ray Bradbury
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn
“Family is the most important thing in the world.” – Princess Diana
On Learning, Passion, and Success
Often, most of our 20s to 50s is spent grinding to bring a meal to the table, so we give up our passions. At 60, we think we can slow down and finally do the things we’ve once held off on; however, there’s really no time limit for learning, and you can do it at 20 or 90.
Here are great age and wisdom quotes on incessantly pursuing knowledge, passion, and success throughout life.
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” – Henry Ford
“Growing older gracefully means having a keen curiosity about learning things about the world that you didn’t know yesterday, no matter how many yesterdays you’ve had.” – Padma Lakshmi
“The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.” – Andy Rooney
“Everybody needs a passion. That’s what keeps life interesting. If you live without passion, you can go through life without leaving any footprints.” – Betty White
If there is one thing I’ve learned in my years on this planet, it’s that the happiest and most fulfilled people are those who devoted themselves to something bigger and more profound than merely their own self-interest.” – John Glenn
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell
“I feel the older I get, the more I’m learning to handle life … being on this quest for a long time, it’s all about finding yourself.” – Ringo Starr
On the Privilege of Reaching Old Age
Our society sees signs of aging as a weakness. But getting gray hair, wrinkles, and aged skin are privileges not many get an opportunity to obtain in their lives. Growing old is beautiful, and older people best describe the exquisite aging process in these quotes on age and wisdom.
“Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.” – David Bowie
“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” – Betty Friedan
“The great thing about getting older is that you get a chance to tell the people in your life who matter what they mean to you.” – Mike Love
“To keep the heart unwrinkled — to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent — that is to triumph over old age.” – Thomas Bailey Aldrich
“We are not limited by our old ages; We are liberated by it.” – Stu Mittleman
“Gray hair is a crown of life.” – Lailah Gifty Akita
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw
“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” – Madeleine L’Engle
The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” – Niccolo Machiavelli
“I suppose real old age begins when one looks backward rather than forward.” – May Sarton
“The trick is to age gracefully and make it look so great, so that everyone else looks forward to it.” – Emma thompson.
“Getting old is a fascinating thing. The older you get, the older you want to get!” – Keith Richards
On Doing Meaningful Work and Leaving a Legacy
Ultimately, everyone wants to be remembered for perpetuity. Leaving the younger generation with the wisdom to continue trudging through life is a meaningful way to live. Here are quotes about old age and wisdom on leaving a legacy for the next generation.
“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.” – Billy Graham
“As we grow older, we must discipline ourselves to continue expanding, broadening, learning, keeping our minds active and open.” – Clint Eastwood
“Legacy is not leaving something for people. It’s leaving something in people.” – Peter Strople
“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.” – Kalu Ndukwe Kalu
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made…It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away.” – author Ray Bradbury from his book Fahrenheit 451
“I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.” – poet Mary Oliver from the poem When Death Comes
Key Takeaway from the Most Experienced People in the World
The joy and pain from experiences can transform anyone into a wiser person. This is what these old age quotes wisdom can teach you about the beauty of aging and progressing. Each decade you live through, whether 80, 90, or, fortunately, 100, will rock you hard with insecurities but leave you with a treasure trove of wisdom every time.
Becoming 80 and getting all kinds of body aches can be challenging, but it can still look graceful for people with a positive mindset about aging. Your physical health will inevitably decline, but experiencing life’s cycle until 80, along with its pains and learnings, is a precious gift.
How about you? Have an unforgettable story to share about your senior loved one? We’d love to hear it!