Older is wiser

22 October 2013

‘Good manners don’t cost anything’, ‘You can only do your best’ and ‘Treat others the way you would like to be treated’ are some of the most common pearls of wisdom grandparents have passed down we found in our latest survey.

While more unusual words of advice included ‘A short pencil is often better than a long memory’, ‘Forgiveness is the key to happiness’ and ‘Banana peels help your tomatoes go red’.

Our poll of 2,000 adults also revealed that two thirds of respondents have been given advice from grandparents that will always stay with them and found that 70% think the older generation is wiser than their peers due to years of life experience.

Other common advice came in the form of well-known sayings such as ‘A smile can get you a long way’ and ‘Practice makes perfect.’

What’s more, more than one in ten said granny’s advice led to better career prospects and 11% said it had a positive effect on their love life.

We also discovered that the average person has mentally stored 22 pieces of advice that their grandparents or elderly relatives have shared with them, and nearly two thirds of adults regularly pass on their grandparents’ advice to others. 71% in the study said that their grandparents have had a huge impact on their lives.

Does your family have any really unusual pearls of wisdom? Feel free to comment below with any words of wisdom you may have from your grandparents.


The Top 30 Pearls of Wisdom from our survey

  1. Good manners don't cost anything
  2. You can only do your best
  3. Don’t buy what you can’t afford
  4. Treat others the way you would like to be treated
  5. A smile can get you a long way
  6. You don’t get something for nothing
  7. Practice makes perfect
  8. Never accept a lift off a stranger
  9. Work hard at school because qualifications are the one thing that can’t be taken from you
  10. Family first
  11. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all
  12. Don’t ask, don’t get
  13. No such word as can’t
  14. Neither a lender nor borrower be
  15. Don’t swim after eating
  16. I want never gets
  17. Never go to bed on an argument
  18. Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach
  19. A happy marriage is the foundation to a happy family
  20. Never go out with wet hair
  21. Set your watch five minutes fast
  22. Patience and perseverance is the key to success
  23. Friendship is a gift not a possession
  24. Always take your coat off when you come in, or you’ll get cold when you go out
  25. Always get out of life what you put in to it
  26. Less is more
  27. People will forget how you look, but won’t forget how you made them feel
  28. Never let your petrol tank go lower than a quarter full
  29. Always have six months’ rent or mortgage saved
  30. Life will have high peaks and low valleys, and neither is forever. Enjoy the peaks, pull yourself out of the valleys and keep going