Why Every Young Adult Should Sit Down with their Grandparents

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My grandpa turned 80 on Saturday. It’s funny how fast time goes by– and right before our eyes. We’re in the midst of a huge generational shift and our elders, who we constantly like to joke about how they know nothing about our dear social media platforms, are holding the one thing that is most valuable: Experience.

Our grandparents know what it was like to have to wake up in the morning and instead of checking their phones, they’re waiting for the mail man. Instead of logging on the web to find movie times, they checked the newspaper. Instead of texting they were 15 minutes late, they had to hope and pray their date had enough patience to wait for them. It’s all very intriguing. So why then will we spend more interest in a story we read on yahoo news than the stories told by our elders?

Chances are we take advantage of internet convenience a little too much. We can’t jump online and send grandma a Facebook chat and ask what dating was like in the fifties, although it would be really interesting to know what that was like. We sadly don’t care to put forth the effort to go through an afternoon driving to our grandparents’ house and spending a decent amount of hours with them. Because we all know that going to grandma’s house is a process, and not one that lasts less than an hour.

The scary part is that time goes by too fast. And soon our grandparents won’t be here to share what it was like growing up with little or no technology, how they lived their lives, and what they learned from that. Soon we’ll be left with a bunch of millennials and only technology and what we’ve heard about the past. So why not record those memories before it’s too late?

So on Saturday my boyfriend casually asked my Grandpa about his years in the navy, and he talked about sending letters to his buddies in the mail during crazy times in his young life. Not an email, not a text, not a fb message. A handwritten letter. And it made me think, I don’t believe i have a single hand-written letter from my best friend. Do you? And the crazy part is, I don’t think that really bothers a lot of people these days. Times have certainly changed. And maybe it’s time you pick up the phone and find out exactly how things have changed.

We must be careful, for because we are so wrapped up in technology, we might just miss the beauty of life before this so-called convenience existed.

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8 Replies to “Why Every Young Adult Should Sit Down with their Grandparents”

  1. My grandmother passed when I was young. Maybe 12 or 13, and my grandfather about a week after my parents married in 1979. I border this generational gap. My teenage years brought pagers. I have so many hand written letters, and do try to write them as often as I can. I wish so much I could have obtained more from my grandmother. I luckily have older parents. They are in thier late 60s now. And still remember the times of walking across fields, hunting pheasant and quail. Living on a little make shift farm. And my father has blessed me with the stories his parents told him. My grandparents meet with letters during WWII. My great aunt suggested my grandma Esther wrote to her brother Ben as a pick me up and friendship. We still have these letters. To see a love story blossom over 2 years of letters, from the casual signed your friend to so many X’s and O’s it was silly. They married once he came home in 1946. It’s sad to think we will lose this connections built of our elders.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Several years ago I had the chance to spend a nice chunk of time with my grandmother. I asked her to share her story. I wasn’t prepared for the beauty that was revealed. As she shared stories of love, heartbreak, joys, and struggles, I became overwhelmed with the notion of, “My goodness, she’s a real person and has actually lived!” Experiencing the humanity of her personal history gave me incredible insights into life (and told me that it’s okay to view life as an uncontrollable journey). What she poured into my soul could never be obtained in any other way.

    Thanks for your post. Though my grandparents are all gone now, your words brought back the echoes of their knowing voices.

    Liked by 1 person

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