I am a Belgian psychology student passionate about photography. I love to talk to random people on the streets. Being inspired by the story of Humans of New York, I started a blog of my own. Where HONY focuses on the stories and experiences of people of all ages, my blog “Experts in Life” shines a light on the older generation, because I feel they are too often brushed aside.
I’m addressing random people of a more mature age on the street, asking them what they would like to pass on to next generations, what wisdom they would like to share and what lessons they had to learn the hard way or just, what do they want to tell me. I have no doubt my generation can learn a whole lot from the experiences of those who came before us.
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“My husband left me when my children were very young. I didn’t mourn for long and always tried to stay positive. I started distributing goods. It started with a roll of toilet paper and a piece of soap for which I got 1 boliviano. Pieces of soap became boxes of soap. That way I got to save more and more money to give my children a future. “
“I grew up in the countryside on a farm next to an airport where the military got their training. I saw them parachuting every day. Ever since I was a little kid I dreamt of one day jumping out of an airplane. I moved to the city for work and had to go abroad very often so I never had the time. Around the time of my 40th birthday I bought a little farm close to the airport and returned to the country. When I was 45 I jumped out of an airplane for the first time in my life. I jumped 83 times in total. I was 75 years old when I jumped for the last time. So there you have it, it’s never too late. “
“Youths used to rob me here all the time. I would turn my head for a second and they would grab something from my shop and run away. Ever since I approached these kids, nothing else has been stolen. I talk to these kids and ask what it is that makes them steal. Quiet often they tell me their whole life story. Usually their parents have abandoned them or can’t support them. I try to convince these kids to find jobs and get to work but often they don’t believe in their own capabilities. They tell me that stealing is all they know how to do. Most people immediately get angry with these kids when they steal, but that only has the opposite effect. I talk to them, listen to their stories and I have notices that they have now started to protect and defend me and no longer steal from me. “
“Once we were in Braunschweig in Germany. We were in a disco and had been dancing a lot (yes we were the oldest people in the disco). As I was waiting while Jill went to the restroom, a young “skinhead” came over. I was apprehensive and kept my hand on my wallet but when he got closer, he put out his hand to shake mine. He said: “I think everybody’s parents should be coming to the disco so the old can understand the young and the young the old.”
Never judge a book by its cover.”
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