It's been said that if you live long enough you'll see everything. Well, grandparents often have, and the Wisdom they have gained from life experience makes them some of the wisest people in the world.... and they are always eager to teach and pass on their wisdom to their grandchildren.
They may not have "School Smarts." They may not have "Street Smarts." But they do have "Survival Smarts"... how to stretch a dollar.... how to keep peace in the family... how to find jobs to support a family when they were few and far between, how to reuse throwaways or re-purpose old stuff.
Your Grandpa didn't care about keeping up with the Jones. For him, it was about God, Country and Family. And most importantly he knew right is right, and wrong is wrong.... and he understood the difference between the two.
He only graduated from the 8th grade. He had to leave school to find work and support his family. He saw World War I, lived through the Great Depression, and saw World War II. He was a religious man, and the family never missed weekly Church; he knew who to thank for his blessings. He would never swear, especially in or about family. He believed in hard work. He was a patriot. He believed in a democratic form of government. Everyone in the old neighborhood knew him - and respected him. He believed in living under your means - save a penny and they add up to nickels, save your nickles and dimes and they add up to dollars. During the depression, he said that it was hard even to come up with as little as fifty cents for a payment on his mortgage - and so he knew just how much every cent... every dollar, meant, and would teach by using old folk phrases like "Waste not, Want not."
And he had the wisdom from his previous generation as well as what he and grandma had learned.
He knew about life, about what matters and what doesn't. About perceived and real stress.
And here are a few of his (and her) Rules of Life:
1) Live under your means. Everyone wants your money, but other than charity don't spend it foolishly. Learn the difference between "wants" and "needs." Save. You won't be disappointed.
2) There is no such thing as a "Stupid Question." He encouraged questions because that stimulated thought. In fact, perhaps if we asked more, we would learn more about what is really happening around us.
3) Time heals all wounds (well, almost all wounds.) Give it time. Don't worry. And remember, "everything works out in the end. If it hasn't worked out yet, then it isn't the end yet." Never Quit !!!!!!
4) When it comes to life, fall in love when you are ready - not when you are lonely. Don't rush it - especially for the wrong reasons. And a corollary is watch out for the wrong type of person... there are a lot of them out there. Find someone who will pick you up - not drag you down. You're looking for your best friend - not a drinking buddy.
5) Be as kind to others, caring to others, concerned about others, forgiving of others, charitable to others - as you would want them to be to you.
6) Learn from your mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. The difference is that the successful person learns from them... while others repeat them over-and-over.
7) Expect a little.... give a lot (especially to charity - both people you know and strangers.)
8) Never compromise yourself. Mistakes happen, but bad decisions, even little ones, come back to haunt you... and they grow and grow and grow. Avoid all temptation.... follow a plan of life, and never do in thought, word or deed... in action or lack of action... something you can truly regret at a future time.
9) Do not neglect the family..... nurture your family... remember in a healthy family giving 80% & 20%... with YOU giving the 80%. Keep that attitude of gratitude no matter the storm (storms pass.)
10) Keep God FIRST in your life. Your life is but a blink in the scheme of eternity. As every grandfather knows, Life is over even before it starts. You want, first and foremost, to be able to meet the Lord on His terms..... after a long and rewarding, albeit hard, life.... and to hear Him say, "Well done my good and faithful servant, enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."
Grandpa's advice was always simple - not complicated. But he always grasped the meaning of your problem and knew what to say.
PS: Many times Grandpa would scratch his head, turn and say, "What do YOU think?" Then after I would speak he would say, "That's good, sounds like you know what you need to do." And he was right, many times we do have the answers ourselves - but we need someone to help us find them. Man tends to overthink... to make it too complicated. Grandpa would just keep to the basics... keep it simple.
Grandpa knows "Right is Right and Wrong is Wrong... " and he knows the difference between the two!