Guest Blogger Katie: The Listening Ear Project

Katie and I met at a mutual friends bachelorette party. Years later, I posted a silly video of my grandmother on my Instagram. Katie reached out to me and told me about her project, The Listening Ear Project and asked if my grandmother would be willing to share her light. Since then I have been truly impressed with what Katie has done for not only the elderly community but for everyone else that it reaches to in some way. The light and love and aged advice that Katie sheds light on is something we all can benefit from. 

Thank you Katie for your love and your light. 

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To be honest I have never really experienced a catastrophic event. I haven't faced a tragedy that has dramatically changed the course of my life, but that's not to say I have had a seamless journey either. Most of us suffer from family struggles, heartbreak and self doubt to some degree, but what I have learned is that the best way to overcome these rough patches is by serving others.

About a year ago I started The Listening Ear Project where I spend time visiting the elderly and then share their stories and advice through social media. The reason I started this project was to get outside of myself, to stop wasting time on petty things and to focus on what is really important. So I began. I started spending time with these sweet souls and something in me changed. I was humbled with every visit, and soon my problems seemed minuscule. Almost every person I have interviewed has either lost a child or a spouse. I have met with veterans who have experienced horrific things. I have met those who survived the Great Depression and others who have faced difficult health challenges. To be with someone who shares the most vulnerable parts of their life with me is an honor and has helped me see how blessed I truly am.

I often get asked how this idea began. It all started from the innate love that I have for this generation, because from the time I was young I have had a special place in my heart for the elderly. Through my interviews I have come to grow close to many of these men and women and consider them my good friends. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot to learn about life and at times still get wrapped up in selfish things, but what I now know is that the best way to forget my problems and shift my perspective, is to spend time with my new friends.