Our relationship with our grandparents is a precious one. While it is undeniable that they can be authoritative at some points, they also get to spoil us in many ways our parents can’t. Beyond those baked goods, toys, tons of hugs and kisses and unconditional love, it is them imparting lessons we can find valuable in a lifetime.
But then here comes technology that although it is meritorious in so many ways, feeding us information to bits in only a matter of clicks, it has gotten in the way of quality time and communication between grandkids and grandparents. The younger generations, more especially, assume that they can learn everything in life without needing the wise words of the elderly.
Unsurprisingly, some of the best and most important life lessons do not come from inanimate objects but from people who play a big role in our lives and practically have lived longer than us. We may not see it often, but it is our grandparents who are constantly behind and teaching us how to pick ourselves up when setbacks happen and move ahead despite the roadblocks along our way.
So without further ado, here are 5 valuable lessons in life we can only learn from our old folks:
Learn from their mistakes and experience
“Had I only listened to my grandmom, I could have avoided a lot of headaches.” Sounds familiar? Elders have a wealth of wisdom only which can be acquired through years and years of experience. Whenever we need a sound advice, they are the best people to run to, because more often than not, what we are going through right now must be the same path they had gone through when they were at our age.
What has happened before will happen again because there is nothing really new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). This verse alone could prove the benefits we could gain if we tap the experience our grandparents have acquired over a lifetime. So when you are in a dilemma or facing a challenge you’ve never been through in the past, it will be wise to ask your grandparents what they did or how they overcame the situation.
Find happiness even in the smallest thing
You see, elders find joy in things no matter how mundane or of little value they are. They see humour in the worst situation. It definitely won’t hurt to laugh at the silliest joke or find a way to be happy despite the curveball life throws us at. Cliché as it may sound, laughter is truly the best medicine. In fact, many people reaching old age are believed to be living a life filled with gladness and joy, and as such, they lead a healthier life because of all the worrying that they are not doing.
Spend quality time with an old neighbor (not the grumpy one, of course) and you’ll experience how their cheerfulness can be contagious and can take your worries away. Remember, in every situation there’s always the good side, so laugh and look at the bright side of things. Subsequently, this positive vibe will be a reflection of your mental and physical state.
Live in the moment but plan for the future
There are some who fails to plan for tomorrow because they are so fixed in the present and some forget to enjoy life because they are so caught up in looking into the future. Sure, no one can be ready for everything in life and yesterday is another day we can never get back, but if we enjoy what today brings while also setting our goals for the future, it’s going to be a wonderful ride for us. We don’t know when it will be our last but if we try to savour what we have today and at the same time reach for our dreams step by step, we will be able to live a more fulfilling life.
Matthew 6:25-34 even says: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…. Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Appreciate what you have now
Because many of us are driven by our ambitions, we find ourselves wanting for more. While pursuing a better life is not bad at all, let us not forget to appreciate life’s daily blessings. If we look at the elderlies, they appreciate what most of us take for granted like the sunrise, the good weather, the flowers and the butterflies, and so on. The new morning itself is a great blessing we should thank our Creator for as this means new life.
Let us not wait for sickness to hit us before we take delight in the presence of our family and friends, the beauty of nature, and the gift of life. Sometimes, it is only when people are too weak to move will they only realize what could they have done when they were still strong enough. Just like our grandparents, let’s be thankful of whatever that comes our way and learn to seize the moment. And by all means to not forget to offer a prayer the moment we awake. After all, every waking day is a gift from the One up above.
Keep your faith burning
It is not surprising for us Filipinos to be religious in some sort of way. After all, Philippines is dominated by Christians. Growing up, we may not see the importance of a religion except to enjoy celebrating its festivities. But as we turn into adults and become in charge of our lives, we often find ourselves seeking God in our decision making, asking Him to lead us to the right path.
In times when we are losing hope, we can turn to the elders in our Church not only for their wisdom but also for their spiritual maturity. They have gotten through the doubtful times, the pain and agonies in life because of their unwavering faith in God. So when we become uncertain as to where we are headed, let’s keep our faith in the Lord burning. It is only Him who knows where we should be.
It is every grandparent’s wish to spend time with their kids and grandkids so take the time to get to know them and learn from them while they are still here. Besides, what you can learn from them can be passed onto your own children and grandchildren someday.