History is a great storyteller.
Just ask any Grandma, and she will gladly share a bevy of elaborate tales going back to the days you rode your bike and played in the yard. But, unfortunately, as current-day history develops and enters the history books forever, the accounts displayed won’t convey a positive message.
As 2022 entered with great uncertainty, millions of people asked how we could regain civility in America.
The answer might lie in uncovering some sageness from a generation that experienced a world without the internet, cell phones, video games, social media, and fast food disguised as “dinner.” As we idolize youth and disregard the knowledge of our seniors, we might defer to the wisdom of a generation that created what used to be referred to as “Home.”
In this manic fast-paced world, middle-income families need three jobs just to survive, and the concept of home now resembles an unreachable and final frontier.
A little time spent on the front porch with Grandma just might afford us some real-time understanding of how we might heal our nation. So let’s join Grandma on the front porch and discover how her stories might just lead us home.
During her monthly visit with her family, Grandma passes her homemade biscuits and sweet tea. As she smiles over memories few will ever see again, she sits in awe, looking at a world governed by technology, where human hugs are a rare commodity, and laughter is shared in a text. (Lol) Everyday family life is commonly viewed on a screen, exempt from human touch.
With a never-ending litany of images producing anxiety and fear, Grandma watches six different news channels with six different stories.
Exasperated, Grandma mumbles to herself that the “news” used to be a presentation of facts, not biased network commentaries designed by greed to serve the network’s needs!
So: How DOES Grandma know what’s real?
Do WE know what’s real? Can Grandma lead us back to a time of intimate communication?
Can Grandma lead us back to a time where hugs were shared at dinner, where gentleness and kindness were a way of life, or should we ask our middle school children what binary and non-binary is: I mean, a 9-year-old knows ALL the answers in this convoluted world of 2022- don’t they?
Can you imagine how Grandma feels – or is she just an antiquated dinosaur of modern-day thinking? I’m sure Grandma isn’t fixated on the paparazzi chasing Bennifer down an alley in Beverly Hills or following The Kardashians for their deep wisdom and understanding of world events.
Why is Grandma rocking on a vacant porch waiting for some human conversation? Who does Grandma go to for answers?! Her advice used to be to ask your parents, friends, the checker in the supermarket, or your business co-workers for some answers or ideas.
Oh, I forgot! Many businesses have closed, shut their doors, doors where humans used to enter. Banks, insurance companies, and credit card companies are working from HOME. “Home”- what a concept; needs a bit of re-defining, don’t you think?
I mean, where DOES Grandma go?
Doesn’t she have questions… maybe even some answers?
When Grandma’s phone never rings, and she is all alone, she can always meander into her community, find a convenience store, and buy some chips. As she is standing in line, maybe a stranger might give her some real information! Someone might recognize her and say, “Hi”!
Oh no! I forgot! No one will know Grandma with her mask on; a mask, if anyone wore it in a convenience store 2 years ago, would have instigated an arrested on sight!
Poor Grandma, I guess she will have to text her stories to a family too busy to “speak,” as actual talking takes a lot more effort than fingers tapping a cell phone and sending vacuous emojis!
I guess Grandma will just have to go home, sit on an empty couch, and with great timidity, dare to turn on the news again! If the news is too confusing, she can always immerse herself in all of those awe-inspiring conspiracy theories that seem to conjure up even more hysteria, isolation, anger, arrogance, and hate. It looks like Grandma has a problem: It looks like we ALL have a great BIG problem!
Welcome to 2022, where anything goes and nothing matters except the “I” that used to be “we.”
Are you too “busy” to talk?
How many times have you sent a text message that was completely misunderstood and misinterpreted? When you hit “send,” the deed is done. The written word can never be taken back and may actually wind up offending the recipient causing needless hurt feelings and shattered relationships. Did you mean to appear cold and disrespectful? Of course not, but consider this: Fingers on a cell phone may emit an emotional response, but the sound of the human voice can never be conveyed through a keyboard as the human voice IS emotion!
For God’s sake: Pick up the phone and speak! A conversation affords the opportunity for both participants to share human feelings, clarify any misunderstandings and avoid damaged feelings that may never be totally healed. But, again, the intent is crucial for understanding: Do you want to edify, inspire, and lift up one another, or do you wish to be critical, condemnatory, and judgemental?
An afflicted personality creates an afflicted society. We are at a precipice of no return unless the decision is made to be constructive and pragmatic. Choose to be kind at all times no matter what conditions may be, as all conditions are transitory in nature. Human beings NEED each other! We need human touch, visceral conversation, understanding, love, and respect. One of the great lies of the New Millennium is that kindness is weak, and violence, vexation, rage, and hate are power!
There will be no restoration of America without dignity, honor, and kindness returning as a way of life!
You can always find something to be mad about, but two wrongs do make a right and political correctness, when it comes to the human spirit, is simply an oxymoron! Inflicting pain on another shows weakness and excises the “care” in character! True human power requires human emotion, as there is no recovery from trauma and pain without it. So how do we move towards the recovery of dignity in America?
How do we discover core values in an anything-goes society?
Put down your Ipad, get off of Facebook for a minute, pick up the phone and listen to one of Grandma’s famous stories. You might discover there is great wisdom to be found in human truth. Embrace the opportunity to connect – to find intimacy again. Embrace the mystery of experiencing another’s soul, another’s love, and another’s feelings.
No matter what the outcome, without risk, failure is inevitable.
Do not be afraid to love, laugh, or cry, as each human tear cannot be measured in gold or silver.
Tell Grandma you love her, tell your children you love them, hug your friends, give a compliment to a stranger. Create the fabric of compassion in your community that can never be broken or destroyed. There is no love without action. It is easy to judge another, but you cannot understand another’s pain without walking in their shoes.
We must stop fighting and bring back the core value of love. Only love aligns the human spirit with our thoughts and opens the power of the soul. Critical thinking NEEDS human emotion!
So the next time you think of Grandma, consider sacrificing 30 minutes of your day and gain some inspiration as you share a cup of tea and biscuits, complemented by the grace of wisdom and some good ole’ homegrown experience. You might just find a story that will lead you to your desired destination: You might just find a story that will lead you home.
Home; WHAT A CONCEPT!