For some, the Greatest Generation is distant history. For me it’s the world of the 30’s & 40s I grew up in.
You know, those sepia-toned Ken Burns documentaries about the Dust Bowl and those B&W newsreels about GIs landing in Iwo Jima and Normandy. But as long ago as all that may seem, their victories and losses are all part of your DNA. You see, history is not only them it’s also you.
It’s been wisely said: “If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You’re a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” Or as some of the Great Generation survivors bluntly put it: “Believe it or not, kid, the world didn’t start the day you were born!”
When you pause to listen to that Generation, this is part of what you hear echoing from their Sundays: “God is great”….” “The lord is my shepherd”….”In god we trust”….” “It’s all in your hands…”
The rest of their week you can hear some of the fiscal cliches they shared over the kitchen table: “A penny saved is a penny earned…” “An honest day’s work for an honest dollar…” “Never spend what you don’t have in the bank…” “If you find a job you love, you’ll never have to work again.”
Echoes from past generations can sound trite or timeless. All depends on how you hear them. That in turn depends on whether you care to listen in the first place. Try this little experiment during the yearend holidays. When you’re around family and friends, do you naturally gravitate towards your young peers? Or do you ease next to the graying elders to listen in to what they have to say? To be sure, much of it will be foreign to your ears, even a tad cranky, and probably too uncool of them to understand all the remarkable accomplishments of your digital generation.
On the other hand……
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