History shapes our culture and our future. It also holds many lessons and great wisdom. If only we’ll choose to study and learn from it. For this reason, it’s very important for us to share our experience of history with our grandchildren.
As grandparents, you have a gift you can offer your Grands. A peek into history that is very personal. You lived it. You may have walked through some of the greatest or scariest times in human history. As a result, you have the inside scoop and an eyewitness account to share with the next generations of your family. You may have heard a speech given by a famous figure or witnessed the performance of a renowned artist. Make it a point to share those experiences.
The Importance of Sharing Your Experience of History
Why is this important? History becomes personal when shared by someone who lived it. Generations of history were passed down verbally before the average person was able to read and write. Sharing stories, from our own experience or our time in history, has an impact on listeners, particularly young minds and hearts. Here are two examples from my own life that have affected my view of a variety of issues.
One grandfather worked on the railroad so I grew up hearing stories about trains and some of the lifestyle of those who rode the rails. My views on everything from the transportation of goods to property law have some root of formation in knowing some family history in that industry.
Both my other grandfather and my father worked in the energy industry. They worked in coal-powered electric plants. While it’s a very hot and controversial topic these days, I have a perspective based on family history and stories of the development of these industries.
You too, have personal perspectives on issues and historical events that might help your Grands to more fully understand the conversations and culture of their day. Explore the timeline of your lifespan thus far and find key historical events. As you make the list, consider your own experience with the events and people of historical significance and find interesting ways to make history come alive in the minds of your Grands. Interpret lessons and wisdom from that history and pass it along to the next generation.