Everyone, no matter who you are, will one day be in the shoes of another, in terms of age. Whether 20, 30, 40, or beyond, we can all learn from that other person or people who have been there, done that. When you turn 21 you think you possess all the knowledge you need for your life. Far from it. There are still so many things to see, to do and learn that this is just the beginning of your life. When you reach the age of 30 you look back at the previous 8+ years and feel that you could've or should've done this or that differently. You might have made choices that caused a bump in the road, but if you learned from these bumps, then you are on your way to knowing that life can teach you, no matter what age,
When you look at or speak to someone who you think is old, just think of it this way: One day you will be this same age. Just because that other person has a few extra years on them, doesn't mean that they are to be discounted or thrown to the side. In fact these may be the best teachers in life you could ever have. Learn from their stories. Inquire how they may have handled a situation you are now facing. Most of all listen when they talk. They speak volumes.
It is the same for a small child who is learning, growing, and wanting to find out about the world around them. Pass your knowledge onto them. Make their learning and growing fun. Give them the benefit of your experiences. Teach them the same way your elders taught you. You will find that when they are grown and moved on with their lives their choices will reflect what you have passed onto them.
Aging gracefully means learning all we can, teaching those who are coming of age and listening to anyone who has been there, done that. This knowledge is worth more than money can buy and it will surprise you at times. Even if you think someone is not listening to you, they are. Their resistance is just one of the ways they are trying to find their way in this world we live in.
Growing and aging gracefully doesn't have to difficult or mean we stop learning. Just the opposite. The more you grow, the more you learn, the better your quality of life will be and people will be amazed at how "smart" you seem to be. Give the benefit of your experience. It will pay you back in more ways than you know!