Why is that we always wait for obituaries to read the most beautiful love letters? The moment a loved one passes, and we start to remember the good times. How great he treated others, or how her laugh filled the room with happiness.
When we are alive, we are too busy. We notice things but don’t stop to mention them. It takes too long to say thank you, or excellent job. Hugs are for sentimental people. I don’t think it was this way during my grandparent’s generation. Come to think of it, there are so many ways that we are different today.
We have grown colder as people. Our focus is on ourselves. We want people to notice us, not others.
We have forgotten the old adage: it is better to give than to receive. And as we grow distant, sharing less of each other, we feel like we don’t know each other anymore, and don’t understand each other.
I’ve been thinking a lot on this subject lately because I’ve been talking to my elders more frequently. There is something that fascinates me about older people. Most of them seemed to live a life worth living, and they did it without becoming rock stars. They were simple everyday people that lived a life they thought was responsible.
Today, we want to be instant celebrities. Working to achieve something seems, well, like work. Why can’t we have everything right now? We deserve it don’t we?
Another way we are different is how we value, or don’t value, the little and big things in life. Young lovers used to appreciate simple walks in the park, looking at the stars, being amazed by the endless majesty of the world. Today, we spend most of our time on cheap thrills we come across as we scroll through our phones. Scrolling, endless scrolling.
It’s a different time, and we are different people. What have we learned from the greatest generation? We don’t pick up pennies for good luck because pennies are meaningless. Saving money isn’t a thing we do. That takes time and patience.
If we take time to observe each other, to learn from each other’s behaviors, what we will see is so revealing. From simple gestures, to how much food we leave on a plate. We are not our grandparents.
We throw things away, which means we don’t value what we have earned. We spend money on items that don’t make us rich as people. We acknowledge others only after they acknowledge us. When someone asks us for a favor, we wonder what we will get out of it.
Our grandfathers’ time was one of duty, service, obligation, community, respect, kindness, and selflessness.
We are different than our grandparents, and because of this, we won’t be remembered as they were.