When Karl Pillemer, a Cornell University professor and author of 30 Lessons for Living, first began his interviews of the oldest Americans in 2003, he got the advice of hundreds of people who had lived through the Great Depression and World War II.
Perhaps more striking, however, was that he interviewed around 60 people who lived through the Spanish Influenza. Recently, he went back and distilled their advice for living through a world-shaking crisis.
“After all,” says Pillemer, “they are the only ones who went through something worse than we are today.”
So, what advice does that generation that survived one the most devastating events of the 20th century and lived to tell the tale have for younger people on how to live through times like now. Here’s their top-line advice:
- Take the long view.
- Be generous.
- Don’t worry, prepare.
- Savor small daily pleasures.
And lastly, ask your elders your questions while you can and find comfort in their resilience.
For an in-depth interview with Karl Pillemer, listen to Robert Powell's podcast on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/thestreetlive/four-tips-for-surviving-the-coronavirus-pandemic-from-spanish-flu-survivors
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