Who do you admire? Why do you admire him/her/them? What can you learn from them?
I’ve always admired the pioneers. Laura Ingalls Wilder and Almanzo Wilder and the men and women like them.
I love their integrity, goodness of character, commitment to honor their word, resourcefulness, determination, fruitfulness, patience, joy, and thankfulness in the face of few material goods. They managed to have a greater quality of life than do our generations with hyper-abundance of goods, though they possessed less quantity of goods.
The pioneer generation’s children and teens played a pivotal role in the processes of life by necessity. The fields had to be plowed; the stock fed; clothes sewn; gardens tended and preserved OR the family would not survive.
In that environment, even with less time for nurture, the children grew up:
- Learning the processes (wheat planting to harvest to milling to baking to eating bread)
- Participating in the processes (working)
- Knowing the value they brought to the table by their work (seeing the product)
- Enjoying the due harvest of their labor (eating the bread)
- Carrying confidence gained by their knowledge and experience into adulthood by virtue of these years of “preparation” through the processes (they were prepared by real life with their families, not entertained through real life with their families).
The Greatest Generation was raised on these processes–a generational impact of the pioneers’. The Greatest Generation defeated global despots and preserved global freedom. Though many had already left farm life in America, culture still held largely to those values and virtues. These, then, were the cloth from which the Greatest Generation was cut. What an honorable international, eternal tapestry they created!
When we consider that feet, horses, and wagon-types, all on the ground, were the mode of transportation from earth’s beginning until the early 1900s—then fast forward to World War I and II with increasingly complex aircraft in the skies, the reality of a rapidly changing world landscape is clearly visible.
In times of rapid acceleration, it can feel like everything’s been turned upside down, when actually the good news is: It’s the DAWN of a new day!
Two generations fought in world wars with scarcely room to breathe and to recover from trauma before their children, the Baby Boomers, jumped in, head first, to a social revolution.
There’s always been, and always will be, a generation gap from one generation to the next.
It’s actually part of the Father’s design as He commissioned parents to make it better for their children, and for the children to honor their parents, take what was given, and build it bigger.
We find ourselves in a similar time of rapid acceleration where it also can feel like everything’s been turned upside down. The good news is: It’s the DAWN of a new day!
The advent of accessible global Internet and rapid advance of technology created: social media and global culture. These, too, can be used for social revolution—which can be good—if the freedom and change are backed by values and virtue.
Freedom and change are the desire of teens and young adults—who have “learned” less failure and less fear by virtue of their shorter lives. This is a good thing! They have energy and zeal to bring national and international victory—think David and his showdown with Goliath.
They need mentors and trainers who believe in who Father created them to be.
(The first mentors and trainers are: parents and grandparents.)
Values and virtue are the gold coinage of the parents and grandparents—who, if they will look beneath the surface of the current generation gap, will find children, teens, and young adults in search of answers. Very similar to the questions they had in their younger days, though with different cultural expressions. Who am I? Why am I here? Help me find something worth fighting for. Something worth building.
How do we bridge this gap?
How do we repair the generations?
How do we recover values and virtue while embracing freedom and change? How do we keep hope and build when culture no longer backs up our values and virtue?
If we’ll roll up our shirtsleeves and get to work (praying, mentoring, training, whether we – or they – like it right now or not), we’ll reap a harvest of a generation(s) who’s empowered and ready to take the freedom and rapid change with virtues and values and CHANGE THE WORLD in ways that seemed impossible in the past.
. . .to be continued.
By Crystal Wade, copyright 2017
“Peace with the Changing Seasons of Relationships”