Something Old, Something New
We are surrounded by wisdom but we don’t take the time to make the most of it.
Last week our church had a rummage sale.
I was walking through the piles of old stuff and found a beautiful framed needlepoint piece. It read, “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.”
I knew this saying because my mother had it on her dresser for years and then I learned the melody that went with it from my time in Girl Scouts. I began to hum it and the church secretary joined me. We stopped, looked at each other and laughed.
Isn’t it great to connect to someone?
My mind started to go over all of the traditions we have in our family. I remembered the first time I made Thanksgiving Dinner and got to the last line of the stuffing recipe: “then place in pan as this stuffing is not meant to be inserted into the bird.”
I freaked and called my mother.
“Just because I stuffed the turkey doesn’t mean you have to do the same,” she said.
Most of us in the Baby Boomer generation do go back to the basics every once in a while. And the generation we seek knowledge from is generally more relaxed and grounded in their ability to dispense it.
Not so with the present generation, which is really grounded in disposing of things, people, old stuff, news. Sort of, out with the old and in with the new.
That concerns me. You see, I am so watchful of the generation that went before mine. In fact, as I have alluded to before, they and their wise words seem to improve with age … my age. What I don’t see is young people taking notice of this phenomenon. New is just better and old is, well, old.
I remember a scene from the film, “Fried Green Tomatoes.” A car with two younger women cuts of Evelyn to take a parking space. Evelyn tells the girls she’s been waiting for that spot.
“Face it, lady, we’re younger and faster,” the one girl says.
Evelyn responds by ramming the young girls’ car six times.
When the other girls asks Evelyn if she’s crazy, she responds, “Face it girls, I’m older and have more insurance.”
While I do not condone either application to securing a parking space, I am keenly aware of the perceptual differences in whether one is young or old. Both sides have something to offer.
However, I believe that many younger people do not stop to observe their older, and yes, at times, wiser fellow human beings. Warning: These people have gone before and have a modicum of valuable information, including what you should pay attention to and what can be overlooked.
Case in point. I was at my first baby shower thrown by a wonderful friend at church. I was a first time mom and wanted to do everything the “natural” way. I had asked that if someone was going to give me diapers, that they be cloth.
The ministers’ wife was present and as I opened the first package of cloth diapers, she quietly shook her head and I could almost hear the “tsk, tsk.” I inquired and she said, I’d use them for dust cloths. She continued, “ Had I the option of Pampers I would have jumped at the opportunity.”
I took her at her word and was I glad.
We are, as a nation, missing the boat when it comes to people that are older; we simply overlook them or, even worse, ignore them. And along with that ignoring comes the ignorance of disrespect.
Children today are given more options than are in their best interest. When we leave for a family outing, a worship service or a commitment, my children get in the car and may not know what is happening until they arrive at the destination.
They are both under 14 years of age and as parents we don’t always feel the need to consult with them. Consequently, they often go along with our decisions because they trust us and know that we seek the best for them.
So even though the world is changing and technology is evolving faster than the speed of light, there are still some things worth remembering and keeping close to the heart.
The good news is that since people are living longer, we have an even greater well of knowledge to draw from and to learn from day to day.
So, sometime when the world slows down a bit for you personally, find a younger person and then go find a “way older” person and visit for a while.
You may just find some gold worth keeping.
Wrap your family tree around that!