The Depression Generation is leaving us Daily-Don’t Delay,Learn From Them

greatest generation WE can always open a history book to learn about the past, but with the ability to learn first hand, from those of the greatest generation, what is stopping you? The majority of people read history books about as often as they go to their Doctor-very infrequent and only if we have to. A brief opportunity still exists, to learn from those who lived through the great depression; to be enlightened by a generation that did more on a personal level to survive, than any generation since.

Most kids, while growing up, have experienced listening in on their parent’s and guest’s conversations. There were feelings attached to these occasions; giddiness, as well as intrigue and mystique  when the conversations quieted down. While young, our parents typically sent us outside or off doing some task when company came to visit. The scent and sounds of coffee brewing were evident, as well as the Tupperware container, with freshly baked goodies (hidden from us) was now present on the kitchen shelf. It was a time of celebration and sharing.

As we aged and matured, we were later invited into these conversations/visits as a worthy contributor and listener.  These weren’t skills learned on computers or from social media; neither an option at that time. This scenario was a common rite of passage that allowed one to begin learning the art of adult communication. It was during these conversations that you learned a great deal about your family’s history; topics not generally discussed with us kids. I personally have fond memories sitting around the table when company was present, hearing my father tell stories of his growing up in the deep south–family we were geographically not close to, yet had a yearning to know more about.

There is still a small population of the depression era people around and what a better learning opportunity than to take the time to visit them; whether family or not. This generation had survival skills that 99% of us will never know or have. Not only did this generation have a meager existence but also had to rely on themselves to problem solve and make things work. They saved their earnings, took care of their limited possessions, grew and processed their own fruit/vegetables/nuts, raised and processed their own meat, milked their own cows, made meals from scratch, helped their neighbors and didn’t complain when times were tough.

The Depression generation also had more common sense than all generations put together. There was nothing false about them; yes was yes and no meant no–with nothing for consideration in between. They worked through their issues and got along with their neighbors.  Even though lives tended to be more private then, these people still took the time to socialize and help where and when needed. Travel, other than local, was more of a luxury, not common and usually linked to necessity. They were not obsessed with acquiring things and generally spent monies on things they needed, not wanted.

A large part of how the depression generation lived no longer pertains to us today, but the basic principles, morals, discipline and common sense, are tools greatly needed by societies today. These tools aren’t discussed in books, but can be acquired from previous generations who walked the walk. What a phenomenal gift this can be for those who merely choose to put out the effort. In addition, what a gift you would be for them, by merely showing these wonderful people that we still care, as well as admire their contributions.

 

 

 

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