The Lessons of my Great Grandmother

July 8, 2018

 

 

We are in a day and age we're animosity generationally is growing. The Baby Boomers (born 1945-1960) increasingly are feuding with Millennials (born 1983-1995). This feud comes out a disagreement on everything from culture and values, tradition and religion - as well as mutual feeling as if other has caused or is causing detrimental harm to the nation.

 

This is a depressing reality as it demonstrates another particular to our globalized and industrialized world. As the separation of man from his work and family expands (at the hand of capitalism), the disunity expands that affects us all. Harmony within the family, within the nation, is a key tenet to a healthy state. This doesn't necessarily mean total submission to the ideas of old or tradition, but rather a healthy respect and reverence for the old, as our hearth, and the young, as our future. A level of humility ensures this.

 

I once heard an expression that still resonates with me to this day. "Society becomes great when men plant trees in which shade they shall never sit". This demonstrates a sharp rejection of the some prevailing ideas today. That our lives are simply an experience to be lived, loved and squandered if we so choose. It's an abrupt rejection that all that matters is our ability to acquire wealth and sustain our corporeal needs. It's an expression of complete sacrifice for our kin - a worthy and necessary sacrifice a nation needs. This is realized in the sacrifices of our soldiers, the dedication of our teachers, and the gifts and service of so many public servants and private citizens.

 

This doesn't always require grandeur acts of sacrifice. One doesn't have to die for their country to give to the future generation. This mindset shouldn't be seen as all-or-nothing, large swath sacrifices, or a thing one can do and check off a list as having completed. It is, and needs to be a way of life. A lifestyle predicated on the long lasting effects of both our actions and decisions. One that stares our collective mortality in the face and recognizes it as true, so we may reject it by superseding our own existence by ensuring proliferation of our people.

 

Upon visiting the family farm a few years ago, I noticed a peculiar tree. It had a branch a foot thick growing parallel to the ground no more than two feet high. I had never seen a tree grow in this manner, let alone look this way. I inquired to my step grandfather as to what had happened to this tree, what accident had befallen this plant to give it such a particular shape. He explained that his mother had spent several years tying the branches and keeping them taught so the tree would grow outwards instead of upwards - so the children could play on it. This woman, who I am a generation removed and too late to meet, devoted time and effort to something that she knew would serve the future generations - even though she knew it would outlive her. It was a small sacrifice, a gift if you will, to those who would follow.

 

Now she certainly gave in other ways to her offspring and definitely reared them well, but it's that tree that stands as a timeliness reminder to her love and sacrifice to her family. This was accomplished not by any grand gesture but by living and exuding a life that is focused on building the future.

 

This is the kind of life we must lead as fascists. One that is hell bent on securing the future of our families and our nation. Every action, emphasis on action, should reflect a calculated devotion to who will follow our footsteps and how we wish them to have a better path to follow. This doesn't mean we cannot enjoy our lives and take time to celebrate the great things and events that make life worth living. It just means that none of us is too busy that we can't be diverted to learn a skill or employ the use of a skill to make effort to better our collective future.

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