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Real Life Encyclopedias

I got to thinking recently after having a very long and interesting conversation with my 87 year old Father-N-Law. Speaking with him is like listening to a real life encyclopedia. The more I listen the more I want to learn and hear. It has been a wonderful revelation and life changing experiences for me for the better.

Each time we talk I can’t help but be amazed at all that he has done, accomplished and experienced in his 87 years on this planet. He has experienced and forgotten more than I will know in my lifetime. Since that revelation I find myself wondering what Dad has witnessed in his lifetime. A World War Two Veteran, High School Football Coach, School teacher, City Manager, School Superintendent, Father, Brother and Husband of 63 years to Mom. Now that’s a life to be proud of.

What’s even more amazing is his character. I often find myself wanting to immulate the wonderful human being that he is. The way he treats Mom is truly something to behold. Talk about a lesson. This is the way a man should treat his wife. These are the lessons in life that we should all learn from. Dad and all seniors his age came from a totally different generation. Can you imagine what goes through the mind of any person over the age of 80? Think about what they must think about.

They were born before television, microwaves, running water in their home, inside plumbing, air conditioning and many of the creature comforts we have today. When I think about how he and mom communicated in the early years before telephones were widely used, I can’t help but picture dad writing mom letters and having to mail them. I then picture dad patiently waiting by the mailbox for moms return letter. Now I sit and think about how mom and dad must feel with all of the technologies of today.

Isn’t it amazing how an 87 year old man and his beautiful 83 year old wife have managed to endure all of these changes and what they must be thinking? In a lot of ways all of the technology has been bad. We for the most part no longer write letters because of text messages and e-mails, we don’t really have to be good at math because we have calculators that do it for us, popcorn now takes just two minutes to pop and there is always ice in the ice maker. The technology has oddly turned out to be a pretty good thing for mom and dad though. They don’t have to work near as hard as they used, which is nice.

The point of this story was to make you think. Even with all of the technology of today, there is still no better source of information than a human being who actually lived it. A book are computer search can tell you in print that it happened, but a human being that lived it can tell you in person when, where, what and why it happened.

Take time to speak and learn from our senior citizens. They are sweet, kind and informative human beings that have been there and don’t that long before most of even thought about it. Most of us only read about the days of outhouses the lack of running water or in-door plumbing, drinking well water, writing letters, no television, the Great Depression, no air conditioning and the lack of electricity.

So put the dictionary or encyclopedia down, step away from the computer and get ready for real life lessons from Real Life Encyclopedias. This will be one story you will never forget.

In closing, much about work, success with our business, life, learning, and happy living could be improved if we took time to learn from our seniors. 

Kenny Martin


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