2 years ago
AlloBaber
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How To Change The World – Lessons from Past Generations

We live in a world in motion, with our eyes fixed on the future.

But do we sometimes forget to look to the past? Where we've come from has just as many lessons to teach us as where we're going.
Continuing my series leading up to National Grandparents Day with another interview from The Legacy Project, today I'm highlighting life lessons from Genevieve, 77, who wrote a beautiful letter that you can read below. First, here are my summary of her tips for changing the world!

How To Change Your World:

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1. Be hopeful.

Believe that you have the power to make positive change.

2. Interrogate the past.

Learn all you can from history – world and family history alike.

3. Cherish your family.

Spend time with your elders, and pay attention to the lessons they can teach you. They've made many mistakes in their lifetimes – learn from them, so you don't have to!
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Read Genevieve's full letter below:
For you the world began only a few years ago. All of what happened before that is a jumble. The grandpa you never knew who died in The War – was it Vietnam or World War II? I know it doesn’t seem to matter. You look to the future. The past, whether of family, friends, country, or the world, doesn’t matter because you are planning to change everything for the better.
I choose to believe that you will change at least some of everything for the better. But, you need a solid foundation on which to stand first. The Greek scientist Archimedes knew this; he said he would move the world if he had both a lever and a place to stand.
Without a foundation in the past and present, you could shift ‘everything’ out of our grasp or even send it crashing backwards. There is a way you can make sense of past and present and avoid future problems.
Find time to ask Mother, Father, Grandparents, Uncles and Aunts and other family members about their lives before you were born. Get them to tell you stories of the funny, foolish things they did as well as the things in which they take pride. Try to learn about friends and relatives they remember that you will never know. Some of them will be thrilled you asked about their lives; you may have to coax others but it is worthwhile.
When relatives tell you these tales, pay attention and ask questions. You may find out why they moved to a particular place, took a certain job, what they thought would happen in the country at that time, and how events and people changed their lives. We all, even you, live in a moving world, not a static one.

If you want to change the world, you must also know how the world changes you.

When you can, keep a diary whether on computer, on tape, or in a book. Include things that are happening in your own life. Put in it lots of events and names of friends and family. You may not think so now, but someday after many years your mind will be so cluttered up that memories and names you think you’ll know forever will simply start to drop out and disappear.
When you are grown and have children, pass on to them, in turn, as many as you can of these stories heard and lives lived. You will be giving your children a great gift that they too will learn to appreciate as time moves on.
Check out the past Wisdom of Your Elders cards!
AlloBaber clipped in 1 collections
2 comments
i love this quote! "If you want to change the world, you must also know how the world changes you." some deep stuff
This is such a beautiful card! We always have to include the past in our future. It's a constant recycling of ideas and using what others have accomplished as a guide to what we can be. :) so well said and very important @allischaaff