If you had the opportunity to get advice from someone who has been alive for more than a century would you take it?
Well, as it turns out, many people who live in New York City already have, all thanks to one special lady named Eileen Wilkinson and her grandson.
The elderly woman, who is about to celebrate her 101st birthday, has been sharing her wisdom with strangers on the street in the Big Apple. Her grandson, Mike Matthews, an adjunct social media professor at New York University, has set up booths along various sidewalks in New York City so that his grandmother, who lives in Washington state, can have face time with strangers. With the use of a webcam, Eileen dispenses advice and shares her own unique and personal life story with passersby.
Needless to say, the whole idea has been taking the internet by storm! Not only that, but many of the strangers who have taken the time out to say hello to Eileen have also shared their own personal stories with the woman. And, she absolutely loves to hear their experiences.
“New Yorkers, they’re so eager to talk and tell their life story, and they’re from all over the world, which is so interesting,” Eileen explained during a recent appearance on the syndicated talk show “Pickler & Ben.” She added, “Every person has a story to tell.”
Even though Eileen likes to dole out advice on topics like dating, careers and flirting, she’s made it clear that she doesn’t like to brag.
“I don’t think I’m that wise. I’ve just lived a long time,” said Eileen, who has told others to always have sense of humor, try not to brag too much and flirt if you like someone.
She also added that being able to remind strangers of their own grandparents is one of her biggest takeaways from the whole experience.
“It makes me feel good, because sometimes your children or grandchildren, they forget their grandparents,” she told “Pickler & Ben” co-hosts Kellie Pickler and Ben Aaron. “So, if I’ve done nothing else, I’ve inspired youngsters to call their grandparents.”
As for Eileen’s grandson, his idea to create a makeshift office for his grandmother has grown into something that’s meaningful to him.
“It reminds people of the value of senior citizens, and the untapped knowledge and wisdom that they offer. Your soul is lifted by that,” Mike explained. “The beauty of this kind of lemonade stand is I have this video of my grandma talking to a homeless man from the Upper West side about his life story. I have people crying about their own grandparents and sharing what makes their grandmother unique to my grandmother. I feel like I have a very good documentation, and will continue to document my grandma, and the essence of who she is.”