People don’t resist change; they resist being changed.
Put yourself in the place of an elderly person living alone who wakes up every morning feeling insecure, knowing he or she will have to face the myriad problems of modern, twenty-first century, daily life (rebooting recalcitrant computers, answering emails, making airplane reservations online) without having had training to solve them and having no access to help.
That’s how it feels for the millions born in the ‘30s and ‘40s, people we call ‘senior citizens’ or ‘golden agers’ and with whom the younger generation has no patience because it finds that seniors are “SLOW.”
Of course they are slow – life has worn them down, their brain cells are no longer fresh – and that is precisely why it is important that their descendants treat them with empathy when they try to teach them the new things that would make their lives easier.
So when you go to see your grandfather next, to help him with his ‘stubborn’ computer, be empathetic – don’t think he is simple-minded just because he is slow.
Empathy is walking a mile in somebody else’s shoes, sympathy is being sorry their feet hurt.
Empathy is exhausting because you have to feel in both directions.