Families often find that grandparents are a bastion of useful knowledge once they actually take the time to listen to them. Most grandparents have lived full lives, and therefore have accumulated a wealth of wisdom that can help the younger generations navigate their most difficult decisions. Below are some of the most poignant sayings from my grandfather.
1. Nothing is wrong with turning the other cheek, but remember, you only have two cheeks.
In most situations, it is better to take the high road. When someone is disrespectful, you do not have to regress to their level. But, there is a difference between being peaceful and being a pushover. Some people only understand confrontation, whether that be verbal or physical. You should give a person who is upset ample opportunity to express themselves and deescalate. However, if they keep pushing you, push back.
2. If there was gold on the streets, everybody would be outside with a bag.
You have to think before you put yourself into different situations. Some controversial job, relationship, or situation may appear to be a great option at first glance. But if the opportunity looks to good to be true, then it probably is to good to be true. Golden opportunities rarely if ever fall into your lap. And, if an opportunity is as great as it looks on paper, then everyone around you would have jumped at the chance to get what you are being offered.
3. You can walk away from a confrontation anywhere else, but if someone threatens you at home, you fight.
There are times when the situation calls for courage regardless of the cost. To walk away from a fight at school is wise. Fighting there will get you suspended. It is wise to walk away from a fight in a public place. Public altercations can get you arrested. But, if someone has the unmitigated gall to attack you at your house, then you should show them why no person should antagonize another person at their home. There are moments in life when passivity is not option, and this is one of them. No one gets to be disrespectful at your home.
4. I’m old not dead.
Getting older does not mean that you stop learning and cease functioning altogether. It just means that you are still alive. So, enjoy all the time that you have on Earth, because it passes faster than you can imagine.
5. A penny saved is a penny earned.
Pay yourself first. The majority of the independently wealthy did not win the lottery; they realized that a little frugality in daily life accumulates over a lifetime. They learned the value of a dollar, and realized that everything is not worth a purchase. Committing to save money is an investment in a stable life.
6. What a person does is who they are.
You can tell a person’s intentions by their behavior. A person can say repeatedly that they love you, but if their actions do not mirror their words, then there is a reason. If they are constantly cheating, then they do not really care about your feelings. A person can say that they respect you, but if they consistently belittle you, then they do not respect you. To understand motive, you watch what a person does.
7. A person can’t say something if they didn’t think it.
Granted, some people say things that they do not fully believe are true when they are angry or inebriated, but you can not say something that does not exist in your mind. Listen to what people say, because it too can be an indication of a person’s character.
8. Boy, go outside and play.
Children need time to be themselves without constant adult supervision. They have to make new friends, develop social hierarchies, and learn to engage with one another in social interactions, none of which they can do by playing video games in the living room or watching television in a dark house. Kids today, need to play more.
9. I discipline you, because I love you.
One of the best gifts that a parent gives their children is the gift of discipline. The real world offers abundant opportunity for those that are responsible and hard-working. Setting boundaries and enforcing them teaches children to follow the rules at a young age and sets a path for their success.
10. The only thing that never changes is that there will always be change.
Nothing stays the same, so engulf yourself in the things that you love before they are lost.
*Bonus – (In response to where are going?) Just ride, son. – I did not know it, but I was being taught to live in the moment. People miss so much, because they are focused only on the end result. Sometimes, the purpose of leaving is to get somewhere, sometimes the ultimate goal is to enjoy the ride.