Top 30 pearls of wisdom older generation pass to younger adults – like be kind

Top 30 pearls of wisdom older generation pass to younger adults – like be kind

Be kind, start saving at a young age, and try not to worry about what others think, are among the top pieces of advice older generations would pass down to young adults, a study has found.

The survey of adults under the age of 40 has revealed the top “pearls of wisdom” they have received from those older than them – including the classic adage, “manners maketh man”.

But over a third of younger adults (35%) said they have found such advice very useful – with as many as 89% putting it into action in their everyday life.

And 88% said they are grateful for advice they have received from their elders – with more than half (56%) admitting they will always rely on them for guidance, no matter what age they are.

It comes as residential care company Care UK, has created a unique “wisdom booth” – inviting adults in their 20s to one of their care homes, Millers Grange in Witney, Oxfordshire, to receive life advice from some of its residents.

Theodosia (Theo) Howells, 97, Jean Palfreyman, 95, John Richards, 94, and 89-year-old Ron Hayes, all took to the booth to have a chat with their younger counterparts.

Some of their top advice included “always keep smiling”, from John, and “never give up”, from 97-year-old Theo.

And no-nonsense Jean urged the youngsters, “don’t be put off by others saying you can’t do it”, with regards to careers advice – while Ron simply offered: “Keep yourself clean”.

Alison Parry, a home manager at Care UK, said: “Older people have so much to offer the younger generations, and it’s lovely to know they are willing to listen.

“Each day we hear the pearls of wisdom that residents have to share – I’ve learnt so much from them, and I know the rest of the team have too!”

Other pearls of wisdom shared by the insightful care home residents of Millers Grange, included “avoiding trouble if you can help it”, and “keeping yourself to yourself” – cited as being the two main ingredients to living a happy life.

And it seems adults start young when it comes to taking advice on board, with 24 being the average age for doing so – although 52% wish they had listened to it more during their youthful years.

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Mum evidently does know best, as that is who people go to the most for advice (41%) – followed by dads (34%) and friends (32%).

The top areas people seek advice in include finance (35%), health (24%), and car issues (23%).

And it also seems the familiar phrase “the older you get, the wiser you become” is believed in by two-thirds (65%) of all those who took part in the study, by OnePoll.

But when asked about generational shifts, it seems more than half (53%) think pearls of wisdom have changed in the last decade.

Advice like “let the man pay on the first date”, “sitting too close to the TV is bad for your eyesight”, and “don’t leave the house with wet hair”, were voted as the most “old fashioned”.

Manners (38%), money management (29%), and attitudes to work (29%) are what people had to thank their elders for the most.

And 57% notice they are speaking and acting more like their elders the older they get.

Of those who have children, 41% have passed down advice they have been given – with a quarter (26%) planning to do this when their kids are old enough to listen.

Nearly half (48%) have done it because they agree with what they were told, while a further 48% said it has helped them in their everyday life.

But six in ten plan on making up their own “pearls of wisdom” to pass down to their little ones.

Alison Parry added: “We had a wonderful time welcoming in the younger generation for an afternoon of advice sharing.

“Jean, Theo, John, and Ron have lots of words of wisdom to share – some good, some bad, and some hilarious – but nonetheless helpful for those navigating young adulthood.

“Here at Care UK, playing an active role in the community, and ensuring that residents continue to feel a sense of purpose in later life, is incredibly important to us.

“Our wisdom booth initiative is a fantastic way to make new connections and offer residents an opportunity to help others, and we look forward to seeing where it takes us next!”

Care UK homes across the country will also be taking part in the Wisdom Booth project, hosting their own advice sessions for younger generations including school children, new mums, and university students.


  1. Be kind
  2. Start saving at a young age
  3. Pay off debts rather than spending money on luxury items
  4. Manners maketh man
  5. Try not to worry about what others think
  6. Teach your children the value of money
  7. Don't be in too much of a hurry to grow up
  8. Always trust your gut feeling
  9. Spend some, save some
  10. Don't make decisions when you're angry
  11. It's okay to need help
  12. Treat yourself once in a while
  13. Nothing worth doing comes easy
  14. Never lend money that you need back
  15. Teach your own children how to budget from an early age
  16. Always sleep on a big decision
  17. Spend quality time with your grandparents as they won't be there forever
  18. Plan for retirement rather than burying your head in the sand
  19. Travel/go on more holidays while you can afford it
  20. Start thinking about your retirement earlier than you need to
  21. Do something every day that makes you happy
  22. Always lose gracefully
  23. Spend more time with the children before they leave home
  24. Never go into business with family or friends
  25. Happy wife = happy life
  26. Never let the sun set on an argument with friends
  27. Make sure you get a job doing what you love
  28. Make new friends but stick by the old ones
  29. Don't complain about getting older – not everybody gets the privilege
  30. Take criticism constructively

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