The Pillars on which we Stand

Grandparents are the anchors of domestic life in every society across the globe. They are the foundations on which our values stand. They provide decades of wisdom in unforgettable experiences and memories that they-as well as the listeners-will recall for the rest of their lives. If not for them, where would the current generation be without their lessons in life? How would they know their history-mistakes that have been made, and lessons that have been learned, and use it that  knowledge to benefit future generations to come? While some fail to appreciate the need for our elderly gems of wisdom, some of us are eager to praise them and thank them for the wealth of indispensable knowledge that they bestow upon younger generations.

There are a considerable number of children who have been or are being raised by their grandparents for one reason or another, whether it be the negligence of the parents, their absence due to an inability to take care of their child, or the unfortunate circumstance that eventually befalls us all: death. There are some instances when, because of the need to provide for one’s family becomes difficult due to a number of factors, such as rising unemployment rates, a decrease in wages, or higher demands at their location of employment, that a mother or father may not be able to stay at home for extended periods of time, as much as they desire to do so. As a result, the champions of life, also known as grandparents, step in to care for the child or children until their parents arrive to take over. It’s out of love and generosity of their time, energy and resources that they do this, and often times, their affection extends past the child’s necessities for the day. They may read the child a book or two, take them out for a refreshing walk around the neighborhood or visit a local park, or spend a considerable amount of time recounting their experiences as a child, thus leaving an invaluable gift in the grandchild’s hands. Perhaps it’s not only out of love that they do this, but also to remember their days as a young parent, and relive their memories with their children, rekindling that energy to forge the bonds of affection in order to display it for their grandchildren.

 It’s in a child’s nature to eventually rebel against their parents, intentionally go against their word and strike out against the world based on their own wisdom, however limited and shortsighted it may be. However frustrating that experience can be for the parents, they often times have the right comeback-in the form of grandparents. Grandparents are seen as figures due for the utmost form of respect and therefore, their every word has great weight and meaning to their grandchildren. It is a fact of life: those who have lived longer see the world with a wider eye, and thus have a greater wealth of knowledge concerning all walks of life that are priceless in everyday living. They will readily listen and heed their warnings, see the practicality in their wisdom, and may avoid situations that would have negative consequences that may affect them for the rest of their lives.  And in turn, months and even years down the road, the once-rebellious child could reflect back on their experiences when they too eventually become grandparents, and say, “My grandmother and grandfather made me who I am today.”