In Spain, where I grew up, most families have at least three generations gracing each home.
Routinely, a house passes from one generation to the next, for hundreds of years.
The foundation of my last childhood home dated back to 1742.
I remember the sag in the rock staircase, worn down from centuries of use and the thick walls made of granite and dirt, covered by a modern cement coating.
The Spanish family unit boasts a unique dynamic—the older the person, the lower the floor.
Great Grandma generally grabs the room on the bottom floor by the kitchen—where she spends most of her time.
Grandparents take the next floor, along with grandchildren.
Parents reside on the top floor, to gain some privacy—and because few houses have elevators.
In this close environment, the dinner table marks the center of the house.
Meals establish communion, a chance to air out differences, resolve grievances and build trust.
Weekend feasts bring in extended family, aunts, uncles, cousins and adopted relatives, rotating from one house to another throughout the month.
Problem solving happens naturally through dialogue.
The wisdom of the older family members provides perspective and a long-range point of view.
Personally, I’m disgusted with the trend to vaingloriously discard the decades of experience from those who came before us.
We think we know it all and we isolate from parents and older teachers.
Modern technology dispenses too much knowledge and robs us of wisdom.
We see and hear so much mental fast food that we never let any of it settle.
We suffer from constant indigestion of the mind.
It’s no wonder we don’t listen to anyone else.
We don’t even listen to ourselves.
Knowledge without wisdom is like a load of books on a donkey’s back.
Who needs to carry that load?
I would rather learn a better way to strike a nail, or have someone show me the proper hammer, than smack away until my hands bleed with the limited instruments in my own personal toolbox.
We build, we break down, we eat, we procreate, we start the cycle over.
Many have run this circuit before us.
You’d think we would pay a little bit more attention to their victories and foibles.
They know a lot and surprisingly, those with knowledge delight in sharing.
Most people enjoy helping others—as long as the recipient can show a modicum of modesty and respect.
We’ve been given two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we talk.
Those who have listened longer, have had a better chance to gain wisdom, a commodity of which we all need a healthy dose.
I’m not asking you to invite your parents to move in—though that might not be such a bad idea.
You might however take a closer listen to what they have to share.
In most cases, they tend to know a lot about you.
That’s A View From The Ridge…
Best-selling author, Ridgely Goldsborough has written 19 books to date, 5 on emotional intelligence, and has developed a phenomenal program called CustomerConversionFormula.com that you can get absolutely free as a member of the Groove community. Also, visit Mind Types for a FREE and fun quiz that will give you a new perspective!