GUEST POST: TAHLIA, YR 8, THE GAP SHS, BRISBANE
Project Happiness: Joy Throughout the Ages
Elderly people, some times sweet, sometimes deaf…and apparently, always amazing.
A group of us (Five Grade 7-9 girls) were lucky enough to spend Term 2 this year planning an awesome event. One that would spread happiness throughout the ages (literally!).
We had come together because we were eager to undertake a project that would challenge us, push us out of our usual comfort zones and benefit someone other than ourselves. We tapped immediately into the idea of ‘happiness’, and set about brainstorming how we could spread it to others. We started out with cupcakes and love hearts (who doesn’t love those!) but Tanya challenged us to look deeper, and really tap into what makes US feel happy. Through this exercise we realised that the strongest feelings of happiness came when people recognised and appreciated us for who we were and what we’d achieved.
So after much consideration and thought we had decided on a simple, yet beautifully executed idea: An hour-long interview with an elderly person from Bellevue Aged Care to get to know them personally, which would be followed a week later with a fairly light lit (tongue twister, I know) dinner during which we regognise and appreciate each of our guests properly.
To break it down, each of us girls got to spend an hour questioning our assigned fabulous female resident about all the amazing things they had achieved in their lives. Their dreams, passions, work, families and so, so much more. The following Saturday we hosted a dinner for them, filled with sandwiches, quiches, sausage rolls and finally, an Ice Cream Bar! Whilst the food was yummy, and the smiles were encouraging, by far the best part was the speeches. That’s right, each of us prepared a little speech about our assigned ladies (mine was called Lyn), and during each we talked all about what made them special, what made them loved, and what made them so incredibly inspiring. Tears were shed and smiles shone brightly, and I can assure you, everyone in the room felt very appreciated.
Throughout this journey, there was much to be learnt. I’m not only certain that no matter how much planning you do, you’ll always forget something, but I also released that you can never assume anything about anyone. Lyn, a seemingly typical elderly woman, spent part of her life in the Airforce during WW2. Another woman was a member of one of the most prolific families in Brisbane. These women lead such inspiring lives. And I encourage you to ask those older than you to share their stories, I promise you they will have some incredible ones!
Thank you Tanya for helping us through this whole journey, I couldn’t of wished for a better experience.
-Tahlia @ The Gap SHS