One of the most auspicious things, pertaining to the current circumstances, is how it is closing any fragmentations in the generational divide. I don’t mean in the sense of the epidemic having no prejudice for who it attacks. Let’s go into a more in-depth level, concerning how lessons of preserverance, patience, and calm have been performed by elder populations around the world. That Spirit of taking things one day at a time. Of slowing down, and being consistent in overcoming life’s hurdles.
When we reflect upon the older generations and populations, who are still living in these current times, its important to understand. . .their time. Whether they are the baby boomers, survivors of The Great Depression, living during the time of WWI and WWII, Jim Crow, Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Rights, Olympic Games, and countless other pivotal times in US Her/History, there is particular, and treasure-filled wisdom, when it comes to these defining eras.
Clearly, elders, in populations all over the world, have an understanding of time. Keeping time going, even if decided to become still, for a certain. . .time. Elders are the keepers of time. What knowledge can they present to the world, during time’s difficult periods? What knowledge have they already presented, and how is it relevant, today?
One of the most powerful lessons that we can learn from our elder populations, during this Corona epidemic, is the power of listening. Listen to our grandparents or elder family members. Listen to their thoughts, during this time. How do they see the current times? And, how do their words inspire, hope? Sometimes, when we listen to our elder populations, we may not hear their sound. Not the one from their mouths. No. There are other ways, in which they are speaking. Their mouths are silent, but their Souls are speaking, vigilantly. What are they saying to us?
Another aura of wisdom from our elder populations is how they continue living. How many continue to smile and live, as if life is normal. This silent agreement with the Universe that, if they keep believing, change is possible-imagining it and thinking it-it will eventually happen. And, that it will come in a way, which makes life more grand. In looking at my own, Southern, Black American culture, our grandmother’s prayers initiated change and elevation, for future generations of Black America’s sons and daughters. The stillness of hope. Being hopeful in the time of hopelessness. Not having to speak it, but performing it, through simply attaching oneself to the symbols of it. Whether that be music, laughter, creating culture, or whatever that may be. From a personal level, I can recall my late grandmother, her strength and unwavering faith. Often times, she knew without having to say. . .a word. Her calming demeanor. Using stillness as a way to know that everything is gonna’ be alright! Her constant prayers for her children, and her children’s children.
Elders’ wisdom during this time is Soul searching. It requires us to look at our current world, and observe what we have done wrong. What have we done right? With their wisdom, we are forced to be humble. Knowing that we are not in “control,” as we think we are. It is the epitome of surrender. That is not to be confused with inaction. What it does entail, is that after we have done the work of what we need to do, we leave everything up to the Universe. We keep ourselves safe, and we keep on keepin’ on. We don’t worry about things, that we have no control over.
Another illuminating point of insight given to us, by our elders, is how they teach us the value of cherishing legacy, lineage, and family. The destruction of any nation or community starts with dismantling the foundation of the family. One has to turn around, and examine if our families are in tact. Have people gotten so career-minded, that they have forgotten about family? Spending more time, overtime, rather than being at home for, family time! Have dinner time meals consisted of eating in separate places, or at different times? One of the greatest treasures that many elders continue to hold true, is the centrality of the family system. Just think about it. During the Great Depression, institution of slavery, Vietnam War, and other key moments of U.S. His/Herstory, it was our families and churches, which kept our nation, alive. Our elders remember this tightness, and the power that it brought during troubled times. Why should this current crisis be any different? Why should family be removed from the equation?
Another teachable lesson of our elder community is how many provide a sense of calm and direction, when we can’t find our way, during such turbulent times. Their wisdom, literally stops us when we have brought chaos, into the naturalness of time. Halting us and compelling us into greater heights. Stopping us to gain clarity of what is happening. Assisting us in having mental stability, during these rough periods. The truth to all matters, is that one can not persevere, or overcome difficult challenges, if an individual is “losing their mind.” That is one of the greatest lessons to be taken from our older generations. They have seen so much. They have lived through so much. It is because of these experiences, that their wisdom is so vital, during this current era. Wherever they are in the world, their presence is of sincere importance. Which is why we need to hear from them, more than ever.
As we are taking step-by-step, moment-by-moment, AND day-by-day in getting through the COVID pandemic, let’s remember to hear from those, that carry generations of wisdom. It is so important. One of the beauties of their calming nature is that it reminds us of the quietness of Earth’s nourishment. Currently, Mother Earth is healing herself. These days of rain are hinting to such. Before technology, I-phones, internet, computers, and other devices, the culture of elders, as connected to nature was seen as the norm. It was in the mainstream. Sitting outside on the porch, and observing the Creator’s work was therapy. And, it got them through the hard times. When food was scarce and jobs were hard to come by, nature kept them going.
Remember our elders. Embrace their wisdom. Listen to their stories of, hardship. The lessons they learned, during, past times. Allow their natural time, for the good times, to prepare us for the BEST TIMES-which have YET, to come.