#275: Longing For Times Past
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
"Problems require wisdom, and wisdom requires perspective. Other people provide that perspective." -- Bill Russell
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One thing I greatly miss now that I am the oldest in the family is spending time with my dad or uncles or aunts or grandparents. We grew up in a different era when the pace of living was slower and there was more emphasis on family connections.
Whether it was rocking on the porch, sitting in the kitchen talking over a cup of coffee, sharing time in a boat on a lake or making home-made ice cream, the times then are precious ones I will not forget.
Now, there is no one older to ask advice from when there is a problem. When I try to describe the feelings of family back then to my young nephews and niece, they look at me as if I were describing meeting aliens. They do not understand what those times were like. My brother, who is 20 years younger, has no ties to or memories of people who had passed on before he was born.
Remember when neighbors were asked to come for a visit and play cards or have dinner then relax on the porch or in the living room and just talk? Or when the pastor was invited to dinner and our best manners came alive?
Much of what we learn comes from observation. But a great amount of our knowledge comes from conversation, a sharing of memories and experiences. I miss those times and I miss having the wisdom of my elders readily available.
Life today is different. I know things are constantly changing but often I wish for the slower pace of years past, when relatives related stories of their lives while the youngsters listened attentively with awe as we realized they had been real people with problems like those we were facing.
Yes, life today is different. But is it better? Sure, modern conveniences have improved our living and working conditions, but along the way have we lost the sense of family and camaraderie we enjoyed in the past?
And, once lost, can it ever be recaptured?