Memories of days gone by are fun to share. As adults we enjoy sharing our childhood and youth experiences at family reunions as well as school class reunions. Sharing memories often helps us gain new perspectives on those by-gone days as well.
Sharing memories with our children and our grandchildren give them a deeper understanding of where they fit in the big picture in our communities and in history. It’s one thing to read about Vietnam in a history book and quite another to hear Uncle John tell of his experiences there. In today’s children’s world of computer games, cell phones, and DVD players that go everywhere with you, children may have a difficult time grasping life as it used to be. Sharing family stories and community tales can help bridge that gap.
I was inspired a week ago to start up a community memory group on Facebook in the town where my family lived from the time I was in the fifth grade until a year after I graduated from high school. I got the idea from a similar group that had been started in the community where I now live. In less than one week the membership of our group has jumped from the 35 or so people I originally invited to over 750 members. A wealth of information has piled in, helping me to bring into focus things I had all-but-forgotten.
How will something like this help our children? It may not, unless we also take the time to share the stories with them. …not necessarily sitting at the computer and scrolling through all the posts and comments, but through every now and then sharing something that strikes a familiar chord and brings the memory to mind. Look for opportunities to share your stories, for the sake of building your relationship with your child or grandchild, as well as to help them to understand how our lifestyles have changed over the years.