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珍视长者的智慧 Treasuring Our Elders' Wisdom


  Our family is filled with sadness due to the death of the last 1)matriarch of our 2)clan. Why do I feel that something is missing? I can remember all the family history and traditions that were passed along. Who will tell the children those 3)outlandish stories? Do you remember the story about walking through snow going to school? Family history is something most people take for granted. Who keeps up with your history?

珍惜长者的智慧  Most family history is verbal. It’s handed down from generation to generation. No one wants to admit that his or her favorite relative will die someday. Most families expect the next generation to do better (education, wealth, leadership, etc.). These expectations can scare us because we don’t want to be responsible for any setbacks. Well, to be honest, this frightens me.

  Several years ago, I spoke at my father’s fune-ral. I could not hold back the tears. My father was a great 4)mentor to guide me through manhood. He had achieved so much despite his lack of a formal education. He had set a standard for me…he was my measuring stick. I felt 5)my father’s shoes were too large to fill; however, I could not hide from my responsibility. It was my turn. Would I 6)falter under the pressure? Passing the family’s collective experience to the next generation is a necessary part of building strong leadership within families.

  How can families preserve this rich 7)know-ledge base? Who is going to remind us of the old ways? Read the newspaper and you’ll find youth 8)on the rampage. Many want to point fingers at media, society, movies, and 9)ill-equipped parents. Society needs to find answers to help this young generation. Let’s use one of our greatest treasures, our seniors.

  Age doesn’t always translate into wisdom, however. You shouldn’t follow some person just because of his age, but look at that person’s life. Look to indivi-duals who have a proven 10)track record. Today’s parents complain about the pressures and costs of raising children. However, older parents (some who raised ten or more children with less mo-ney) managed to educate their children with no government assistance.

  As we enter this new millennium, we cannot afford to reject the wisdom from past generations. Then what should we do? We can ask senior citizens to mentor young people with their expertise, and encourage seniors to write their stories and experiences for the next generation. Furthermore, we can visit a nursing home and discover all the wisdom there.

  Knowledge is wasted if it isn’t used correctly. Why make the same mistakes, over and over? Take 11)heed from the wisdom that’s all around you. Build on the previous generations by avoiding the same traps. We must preserve our heritage and legacy. It is a responsibility we must all bear. If you don’t preserve this rich history, don’t expect anyone else to care about your own generation. Give future generations that corporate knowledge that exists now. Start today.