Learnings from my grandparents – on Remembrance Day

“The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person” – Andy Rooney

On the eve of Remembrance Day 2019 I sit here thinking about my grandparents. In full disclosure,  none of my grandparents fought directly in either world war however all of them had their lives completely uprooted over 75 years ago during WWII, forcing them, at a very young age to abandon their homes and in some cases their entire family in order to survive.

I am so thankful that I had the privilege of growing up in close proximity to my grandparents. I can still clearly recall seeing them on a weekly basis and how much I looked forward to spending time with them. Specifically, As a teenager I remember the long, unhurried conversations over an ice-cream when I would ask them about their parents, their childhood and their values. Although I didn’t quite understand the impact of their teachings at the time I can confirm that they became some of the core tenets that I aspire to live by. Without sounding too preachy I am happy to share them with you today……

So….what did I learn from my grandparents who lived through WWII?

  1. Never lose your sense of humour – It’s ok to laugh…even at yourself
  2. Patience is a virtue – Get up early, work hard, but remember that success doesn’t come overnight and sometimes not at all
  3. Family is Sacred – Protect and cherish it always
  4. Material things dont matter; they can all be replaced, – By all means enjoy them but remember that they don’t have any emotional connection to you
  5. Don’t forget about those who helped you along the way – In the tough times you realize who your real friends are…support them always
  6. Music is chicken soup for the soul – Feel it in every bone of your body and let it take you places
  7. Size is not measured by feet and inches – Its measured in the impact you have on those around you
  8. “Happy” is a state of mind – Enjoy the moment when it happens, you can’t force it
  9. Children need love – Kiss them, hug them and tell them you love them every single day
  10. Never take a meal for granted – Extreme hunger is painful and not something you ever want to experience

These days I know my own children look to their grandparents for sage advice to carry them through their years. and I know they will reflect on it for many decades to come…

Enjoy the rest of the year folks!




One thought on “Learnings from my grandparents – on Remembrance Day

  1. Shawn, thanks for your thoughtful post: an appropriate response on Remembrance Day, or as we call it in the States — Veterans Day. My father did fight in WWII, as I point out in my blog post on the topic at http://billpetro.com/history-of-veterans-day.

    I always appreciate people to take the time to reflect, to remember, to integrate the lessons learned from the past into how they live their lives in the here and now. Well done.

    Bill Petro


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