'Butterfly Effect' strives to encourage more conversation between generations

Colin McCrae is a busy man.

At the young age of 83, he keeps up an active lifestyle and spends much of his time volunteering.

"I liken it to an old 19th century motorcar, and it won't go unless I have fuel, and that fuel is the community," he explains.

McCrae enjoys spending time with seniors and youth alike.

Most recently, he got involved with a campaign for National Seniors Day called 'The Butterfly Effect,' an initiative that strives to encourage more conversation amongst generations.

"Butterflies, in my mind," he says, "are the epitome of gracefulness, of frailty, of diligence."

Katie Mahoney's association, We Are Young, grants wishes for seniors, they partnered with RBC for the campaign.

About 150 RBC employees created five-thousand butterflies that were distributed to seniors across Nova Scotia.

Mahoney says the butterflies symbolize the trials, tribulations and challenges that seniors have overcome.

She encourages seniors to share their wisdom with the younger generations, or caterpillars, as she refers to them in the campaign.

"Most people don't realize, or kind of forget, that they are the ones who paved the way for the life and opportunity that we live today," Mahoney explains. "They are a generation that is pure and humble and selfless, and we can learn a lot from them."

The CEO of Canadian's National Seniors Advocacy Organization, CanAge, says on this National Seniors Day, it is important to reflect on the past 19 months and look at how we and government can support seniors now more than ever, as we continue to navigate through the pandemic.

"Early on we were told that seniors needed to stay at home, and of course, the Atlantic provinces really took that seriously," Laura Tamblyn Watts explains. "That meant for many people, not seeing family and friends for a year and a half, and we know that doesn't just hit your mental health, it his your physical health, too."

That's why Katie Mahoney is doing her part, to help improve the wellbeing of seniors in our communities.

"I think it's just being conscious that, you know, we're going to walk into their shoes," she says. "We want people to advocate for us as we get older. And I think the biggest take home message on today, especially, is if we are lucky enough to get old, it is a privilege to be a senior, and I think that message is often times lost."

"Life is worth living," adds McCrae. "But live it in a honest, and truth and caring, compassionate way."

Words of wisdom from both the younger and older generation, working together to create a beautiful future for everyone.