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Generations Day: Older Persons, Younger Selves - Photo Button Fun!

On this day what if the elderly wore a photo button of themselves as young kids? And if kids wore photo buttons of their grandparents ?

Photo of Avi Solomon
18 15

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The "elderly" in many societies are being short-changed even if all their physical needs are being met. They have a lot to share but nobody cares to simply listen to their stories. We need to find ways to break this ice and initiate compassionate interactions in which everyone is the beneficiary.

A "Generations Day" could be celebrated worldwide and everyone would wear a photo button in honor of the elderly. The elderly would wear photo buttons of themselves as young kids. The young would wear photo buttons of their grandparents.

The simple act of the elderly wearing a photo button of themselves as a young child could trigger a smile of understanding and a conversation of mutual benefit.

As a mark of solidarity and empathy with the elderly (and their own future self) the young could make and wear a photo button of their grandparents.

What would happen if Justin Bieber got inspired to wear a photo button of his grandfather to commemorate this day?!

Many thanks to Ardyn Halter for helping refine this concept.

How might your idea scale and spread to reach as many people as possible?

Besides WOM, people could post and share photos of themselves wearing the photo buttons on a dedicated "Generations Day" website. A virtual registry of elderly people available for photo button "adoption" by younger kids (many of whom may not have living grandparents) is also a possibility. A list of local "Generations Day" events would be disseminated on the website. The photo buttons could also have magnets on their backs, enabling them to be stuck onto the fridge to trigger additional conversations with the elderly person throughout the rest of the year.

How might your idea attract and involve partners from health care, business, government, nonprofit or other sectors?

"Generations Day" could be organized by the social welfare office of every municipality or district throughout the world. Companies like Nikon, Sony, Hallmark, Picture People, Instagram, Etsy or Yahoo! could sponsor the production of the actual photo buttons and publicize the "Generations Day". Making the buttons could be an exciting classroom activity in every school. Every child could "adopt" their own grandparent, an elderly resident from a local retirement home or from a virtual registry of elderly people available for "adoption" on the "Generations Day" website.

How might you design an early experiment or prototype to further develop your idea?

I'm making a photo button as we speak:)


Join the conversation:

Photo of Christine Valerio

Great idea! I notice all too often that people forget to realize that older people who may not have the same capabilities as they used to were at one point young. It would be a great conversation starter to get a view into their younger life by seeing a photo of them.

I wonder if there's a way to archive this, or bring it into a digital realm where people can be inspired by it all throughout the year and not just on generations day?

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