What The Greatest Generation Taught Me

Guys, I love my grandparents. 

I mean if you met them, I guarantee you would too. {Just look at that picture, aren't they pppprecious?!}

I've been blessed to have them present throughout my life. They have always been there for me -- from Sunday lunches, to being my biggest fans throughout my basketball career, to helping Madison and I pot plants and fix appliances in our first house, to praying for us whenever we travel. They've constantly poured love into my life for 26 years. 

{And provided an endless stream of chocolate desserts into my diet PRAISE JESUS}

Simply, Carl & Wanda rock. 

One of the ongoing jokes with my friends is that whenever I go anywhere in Northwest Arkansas I run into a family member. Madison {my sister} and I tell people we have about 142 cousins in NWA, and although that might not be 100% accurate, it FEELS pretty close. See, my grandma is one of nine children that were raised in Greenland, AR. They either loved to pro-create, or they had a strong sense of family. {OKAY, maybe it was a little bit of both} But, regardless, my family is considered to be large.

Which is good because it means there are more people that I've gotten to lean in to... that have poured out wisdom and love... that have supported me and cheered me on... that have taught me a lot about life... and that have helped me see that the "young folk" of today are missing out on something special that my grandparent's generation had. 

Don't worry... I LOVE that there have been medical advances, new technology, social media outlets that make communication easier, crazier fashions, and more opportunities to chase your dreams .... But, sitting at lunch with my grandparents today, made it more obvious than ever that we {the millennials and even baby boomers} have missed out on what's really important in life.

I'm jealous of my grandparents.

Because, regardless of the advances of MY generation, they hold tight to the values of THEIR generation. 

They don't need phones and computers to feel connected. They feel connected when they get to spend quality time with you, being engaged, with no distractions. 

They don't need Instagram and Facebook to "remember the good times". They hold tight to the memories they cherish by sharing stories of their life with another person.

They believe sticking close to the person you vowed to love forever, regardless of the good and bad times, is the ONLY choice, and not an option. 

They honor the flag and what it represents -- not out of duty, but out of pride. They've seen the turmoil our country has experienced throughout the years and saw what courage and self-sacrifice looked like firsthand.

They are never too busy to make time for their family, because they are loyal to those they love. To them, family is everything.

They remember those who have passed and the impact they had on their lives. To them, Decoration Day is not simply a notice on the calendar, but a day where they pay remembrance to those no longer here.

They worked hard for the things that we so easily have at our fingertips today. They didn't sit by and wait for things to come to them -- they took initiative and poured themselves out wholeheartedly.

They didn't always have to be on the move, jumping from one big adventure to the next. Instead, they found peace and joy in the little things, treasuring more who they were with then what they were doing.

Why are people todaY not more like this?

I look at my grandparents and I ache for what they have. 

Tom Brokaw coined my grandparent's generation as "The Greatest Generation" and I think he was absolutely right. Without their generation, we'd be nowhere today.

Yet, when I look around me, it's obvious we've forgotten the most important things they've taught us. We have become a selfish, self-absorbed, crude, disrespectable and a lazy generation. {Harsh? Maybe, but you all know deep down we really are.}

I hate that. I hate that I am included in that. I hate that I look at my younger cousins and feel sad that their generation is 10x worse, and that I fear what is yet to come.

I WANT to be more engaged. I WANT to not miss the stories taking place around me because I'm staring at my phone too much. I WANT to cherish my family and love on them like my grandparents did to me. I WANT to hold tight to the values of honor, loyalty, and respect. I WANT to work hard, but not forget what's important. I WANT to be relational, and to remember people by the time I've spent with them and the stories they've shared.

I WANT to be more like Carl & Wanda.

As I sat with my grandparents today, I never wanted the day to end. It beat looking through Instagram posts. It beat the float trip the day before. It beat sitting on a couch watching a movie. It beat running around town with my friends. Today, all I wanted to do was soak up every moment with them because it was easy, full of love, and truly memorable.

Did my grandparents go into lunch thinking that they'd be teaching me a lesson? I highly doubt it. But that's why they're part of "The Greatest Generation" -- because by simply holding tight to the values they believed in, they were simply being the best version of themselves. And by being who they are, they challenged me to be the best version of myself.

To engage and connect. To love deeply. To make time. To show respect. To work hard.

& to always remember those who came before me.

So here's me, shooting to be more like them.

{& praying others will join me}