In the past, men and women would share their life experiences through stories. Sometimes they would be written down, and sometimes it was just listening to your grandparents talk about how hard they had it in the day.
My father used to tell me how poor they were when he was growing up, and he had a favorite story to illustrate the point. This is what I remember of his story…
My father grew up in Belmont Massachusettes, in a small 2 bedroom home that reminded me of a row house – only detached from the houses near it on the smallest piece of land you can imagine. He was one of 3 boys in this small house. My grandparents were very nice people, but they were chain smokers for as long as I knew them. The story that my dad would tell (he hasn’t mentioned it to me in many years, but I remember it vividly) is that he and his brothers would have to walk to school every day no matter what the weather, rain or shine, including the brutal winter days. According to my dad, his mother would pack a baked potato for his lunch on most days because that was all they could afford. His mother would get up early each morning and bake the potatoes for the kids, and send them out into the cold with a nice warm lunch, and hand warmer.
My dad told me that story for years, usually after I asked him for something and complained when I didn’t get it. He was trying to tell me that things could be worse and that I’ve got nothing to complain about. He was right of course, but it was hard to see that then.
Tell your stories to your kids. Let them laugh at you until they get older and finally “get it”. It will all be worth it.