Listen to your Elders

For most of us, growing up meant going to school, doing chores and listening to our elders. We didn't comprehend, back then, why we had to abide by such stringent rules. After all, we wanted playtime, TV time and the freedom to do whatever it was we wanted to do. But there would always be that rare occasion when one of our parents, grandparents or even a teacher would say, "One day when you grow up, you'll understand." Of course many of us might have just shook our heads in disbelief, knowing that we were NEVER going to have rules. Tsk. Tsk. We were never going to have to take orders from someone else. And we weren't going to tell anyone else what to do either. Funny how things change the older and wiser we become.

Truth of the matter is that the more life lessons that individuals experience in life, the better equipped they become to deal with the challenges that may come their way. It is that structure and understanding that comes with rules that permits people to find their foundation in what will be a long and tough journey if not mentally and emotionally prepared to go the distance.

Our parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents may sometimes rehash stories of the past and how much more difficult it was for them, or how many more responsibilities they had growing up. It's hard to comprehend their meaning of "difficult" or "responsibilities" when we live in such a fast-paced, instant-gratification society. Surely they could not have been so bad off back then. Fact is that surviving grandparents saw hardships that many of us will never experience in our lifetimes.

During World War II, for example, many individuals were given rationed food supplies. And even then, it was barely enough to keep a starving family fed. For many, even a built-in bathroom was something that not everyone had. In the great Dust Bowl in the mid 1930s, over 500,000 people were left homeless and destitute. The suffering had no end in sight; at least for those who had nowhere to go. So imagine a time and era where people didn't have the luxury of cell phones, hi-def color flat screens, portable laptops, and a steady economy where grocers can still compete for the hard-earned American dollar. Yes, our elders can tell us some stories that may be just a small piece of their histories, but an important lesson in understanding the reasoning behind morals, principles and rules. Without their underlying values, structure and vision to look beyond their difficulties, they surely would not have survived long enough to retell their stories; nor would they have produced healthy offspring and the legacy that has become you.

Remember to always pay attention to and respect what the seniors in your life are saying to you. The important insight we gain from them and their past can give us the edge to overcome obstacles, our own hardships and perhaps, even something so devastating as war or famine. Value the information that they are sharing with you and know that their gift of wisdom is for your own livelihood, survival and overall success.

If you have been thinking about honoring the special senior in your life, why not submit your story on why she or he deserves to win a pair of Maui Jim Sunglasses? See complete submission guidelines here:

Joan Marie Ambrose

Author, Creative Writer, Motivational Speaker

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Blog Date: 
Monday, March 11, 2013