With National Grandparents Day coming up this Sunday (September 8, 2013), grandparents are on our minds. Our grandparents are special to us for many reasons. They always seemed to have a treat on hand whenever we visited, and they often took us out on amazing adventures. But while we may remember the trips to the zoo and the ice cream, we often forget that we’ve learned some valuable life lessons from our grandparents over the years.
Our grandparents have lived through a lot, and by listening to their stories, we can get an idea of just how easy we have it today. While hearing the clichéd story of walking to school barefoot and uphill both ways may get a little boring, it’s important to realize that there’s more to the story than just the obvious. These are the experiences that shaped our grandparents and made them who they are today. Often, they didn’t have the luxury of being driven to the mall (or even have the luxury of a mall) every weekend. They also did not have the screen time younger generations are accustomed to enjoying. They had to invent their own ways of having fun, and they actually spent time outdoors, unlike many kids today.
After living through some hard times, our grandparents can teach us about being frugal and aware of how we spend our money. While being green may seem like a new concept, our grandparents were reusing and recycling long before it was trendy. Those who lived through the Great Depression, for example, know what it’s like to have to conserve resources. During World War I and World War II, many things were unavailable due to the war efforts, rationing was common, and again our grandparents had to learn to do without or find alternate resources. We can learn a lot from them about conservation and upcycling things.
Our grandparents also raised their own children and are wise enough to enjoy their grandchildren this time around. Family is often the central focus of their lives, something we forget in our everyday living.
Often, grandparents are a major influence in our lives, and it’s important to remind them of just how special they are. This Grandparents Day, be sure to show them just how great they are by sending them flowers, taking them out to lunch, calling them on the phone or just spending some time with them.