Welcome back! I hope the new year is off to a great start for you my reader! If you’ve been following my blog you know that I’ve devoted 10 posts to lessons my husband and I learned from our grandparents. If you’re new around here, you can start with my post Looking Forward, Reflecting Back.
Lesson 7: Look for the good and let the rest go. This lesson is timeless. Every generation, every century has its different people and different challenges. Isn’t that what makes the world so exciting? If we were all the same, it would be so boring. I don’t know about you, but I’m intrigued to learn from people of different backgrounds. The more I talk to people, the more commonalities I find we all have. We all gravitate towards those who share similar experiences to our own, but that doesn’t mean we can’t also accept others who are different from us. Accepting others is not to say you have to be BFFs with them!
Our grandparents, Bop and Gram were both introverted. They were good listeners. Bop would talk to pretty much anyone as he got older. He always asked for people’s names, and would ask questions about what they did, where they were from. He enjoyed hearing other people’s stories and sharing his own. He never judged someone or compared himself to others. Going out to eat with Bop was a fun adventure because he always conversed with the waitresses and listened to their stories. Bop saw going out to eat as an opportunity to socialize. With people he didn’t even know. In Bop’s lifetime he moved around a lot, which gave him the ability to make friends easily. As a young boy he was often responsible for finding food and a room for himself and his father who had a drinking problem and hopped from one job to the next. Bop didn’t harbor his feelings on his father who struggled with drinking, he focused on making connections with people so he could survive. Later in life, when Bop would tell stories about moving about so much, he always focused on the positives and what he learned along the way.
Gram was a little more outspoken at times, yet she had a very quiet way of letting you know when she disapproved of someone, but she also had a way of saying, “It’s not for me to judge.” She forgave easily and didn’t hold grudges. Even when Gram was hurt by people, she stayed strong, and I can still hear her voice in my head saying, “Let’s just let it go.” Gram knew that putting energy into the positive was going to get her farther than exhausting her energy on the negatives. She was also a strong woman who spoke up when she felt it was necessary, but she did it in a productive, nonviolent way.
Bop and Gram grew up during a different time when acceptance of others wasn’t always the norm. Not even close. They also lived in a time when great changes amongst different races evolved. They were not perfect. They were human. They had social biases, we all do, yet they accepted people for who they were. They weren’t trying to change others to be what they wanted. They did not use violence or hatred towards others.
Times are very different now, and we’ve come so far from the early to mid 1900’s, but we still have A LOT of work to do with accepting others for who they are. And who they are NOT. Recent events in politics and the pandemic of 2020 has shown us that people won’t always agree with you. Are we accepting others for who they are? Or are we creating more inequalities? While I’m disheartened that when we wear our masks we can’t see each other’s smile, I do see the positive aspect of all of us having to look one another in the eyes!
Here’s a song to remember to look for the good!
Thank you for reading!