Growth 4 min read

3 Things You Can Learn From Your Grandparents

With age comes wisdom.

Not long ago, it was common to have several generations living together in a family home. Children would be raised by their parents as well as assorted relatives and older family members would be cared for into their golden years by people who and loved them.

Times have changed a lot since then.

Incorporation of extended family into our daily lives is less common than before but the valuable wisdom gained from communal living doesn’t have to be lost. You can still learn life lessons straight from some of the most qualified people you know: your grandparents.

1. To tell the truth and keep your word.

 Keep your promises.(Photo: Keep your promises.)

Our grandparents grew up in a time where your word was bond. It was an age when you said what you meant and, if you made an agreement, there was no going back on it.

In a time when it seems there is a double meaning behind every social media post and promises can be made and broken through text message, their sincere commitment can sometimes seem old fashioned and naive to younger generations.

And this isn’t an assumption or generalization. In a recent study, only 18% of people surveyed said they were completely honest on their social media pages.

Whether they were lying to make themselves seem more exciting or over something even more trivial, it happens and happens often. We can take a lesson from our grandparents and drop this bad habit.

2. How to do a lot with a little.

Make things last. (Photo: Make things last. )

With all the new devices out in the marketplace, it's hard to resist the rampant materialism of our culture. It’s only human nature to want, but older folks had to deal with that instinct in times when even the most basic supplies were impossible to afford.

Grandparents that were children during the years of and following the Great Depression grew up knowing that wealth could be taken away quickly and hard to gain back. It taught them a frugality that helped them take the little they had and make the best out of it.

This is a lesson that millennials already seem to be picking up on. Studies are showing that millennials are the most thrifty generation since that of the Great Depression. Grandma and Grandpa will be proud!

3. Your shared history.

 Trade memories. (Photo: Trade memories. )

If you have ever had to say goodbye to a loved one, the act of going through their things after their death can be both cathartic and overwhelming. While looking through photos and keepsakes, how many unanswered questions and untold stories lay among the possessions?

When your grandparents pass away, they will take with them your shared history. If you have never asked about their lives before they became your grandparent, there is a whole other life that you have never known about that can be lost forever.

They hold the past in their stories but also an important piece of your future. The benefits of knowing about your family history has been proven to include increased self-esteem and coping skills.

Perhaps this is because those who know their history are able to feel a camaraderie with the past and become more comfortable with the uncertainty of the future. In this way, your grandparents’ past is the gatekeeper for your future.

It is easy to fall into the thinking that we know it all but there is the potential to learn from so many in our lives. Our grandparents have the benefit of decades more living than we have yet to experience. Take advantage of their wisdom and you might be surprised at what you find.

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