When I was a teenager, my grandparents lived with my family in an addition that we built onto the house. Like so many of the experiences that we have in life, it didn’t hit me until much later what a gift I’d been given. Initially they were both there but then my grandmother passed away. It brought mortality directly into the house. After her passing, I started doing a bit more with my Pop Pop. I would go to church with him from time to time on Sundays and breakfast afterward. Not exactly the preferred activity of a teenager but I don’t remember complaining much. It was an exercise in perspective.
Our society is moving at a pace and has a “newness” that seems relatively content with discarding people who can’t keep up. While I understand that the shiny things are exciting, there exists a foundation on which things are built. It’s easy to ignore the building blocks when admiring the heights that we’ve achieved. Unfortunately or fortunately, those blocks are integral to the structure. Whether it is recognized or not, the building topples without them. As it is with our older generation. We did not arrive at Instagram in an instant. It took generations of grandparents looking at family photos with their grandkids before we got the idea of valuing our memories through photography. Now we think that our “stories” are the full story. They’re not. Just a flash in the pan.
History doesn’t repeat itself but it tends to echo. So when you get the chance to talk to someone older than you, don’t rush. The echo of your future may be heard within their past. The telegraph is the telephone. Just like the radio is the television. Human beings are still here experiencing life as an organism intended to live in the wild but existing in relative comfort. Ask the questions that you might need answers to in ten years! An older person may not understand Snapchat but they have seen enough of the world to know what things are worth chatting about decades later. Maybe it’s time to sit and chat.