by Jessica Elliott
Lending my ear to the old guy, perched on a bar stool, drinking his Miller Lite, reminded me that our world was much different less than one lifetime ago.
In our time of instant-everything, limitless goods of all sorts, it’s easy to take our way of life for granted. I’m guilty of it myself. Life is about more than the facts we learn in school. It’s more than gifts, vacations, college degrees, and sporting events. There are so many opportunities for teachable moments that add value to life. Ones that help kids feel a true connection to their environment and find their purpose in it.
I hope every family makes something from scratch or at minimum takes a look at what they are consuming. Where’s it from? Who made it? What’s it made out of? As a parent, ask yourself why these questions matter.
Those little moments, when your child pulls the chair up to help you stir the pot or when your teen asks, “What are you adding to make the gravy thick?” matter.
Being aware and using all your senses, while walking barefoot through a freshly tilled garden or under an umbrella in the rain, are more than memories, they are opportunities. Opportunities to connect, talk, and share some old-fashioned values that never go out of style. The ones that remind our kids that their world is greater than this house, this city.
My conversations with this vet reminded me that if the elderly, who have been through the worst (and arguably the best) of times, feel pessimistic over our future and future generations, then surely our kids must feel pressure also. And maybe, just maybe, showing them some of the “old” ways, slowing down a few moments of each day, will benefit all of us.
Technology can make our lives better. But life isn’t virtual. We all leave a footprint. In these small moments, we have a chance to help our kids find a balance, appreciation, and a sense of the greater world, for a greater good.
Because that’s what stuck out to me, this old-timer didn’t share memories of the solo act of earning an income or the team effort of sports. He talked about banding together as workers, as community members, for a greater good.
Part of our purpose is to take care of our families and ourselves. Part is to help those who can’t help themselves. And part is to help make the world better for those who come next.
Make your time count. Find a way, that fits your family, to connect. It’s important. It’s our future.
– Jessica Elliott
This article was previously published on my blog.