During this most unusual time, I remembered stories that share 4 Lessons from my Grandfather. I am with my family, watching the updates on the coronavirus pandemic daily. This morning on the Today Show, Savannah interviewed a young American mother living in Italy with her family. Savannah asked Rachel Buchholz what she would say to Americans here.
Rachel said, “Choose peace over panic, faith over fear…and look for opportunities to be kind.”
I heard, I connected, I’m sharing my response
Her words resonated and I remembered a few things my grandfather did in his lifetime. I hope these stories of choosing peace, having faith, and looking for opportunities to be kind help you during this time of need.
1) My grandfather believed in getting higher education. Out of his nine living children, three went onto to trade school or college. My mom was the first in the family to graduate from college. My grandparents were so proud of her, they traveled over 1400 miles to see her receive a college diploma. Education brings knowledge and wisdom. How does this tie in with today? Gather facts from reliable resources and make informed decisions.
2) My grandfather was a faith-filled man. He and the entire family loaded into their horse and buggy to travel to the church for Sunday mass…every week. Rain, shine, snow, etc. How does this apply to today? At this time we are asked to limit our movement. Use this sheltered time to be with our families and reflect on the spiritual part of our lives. Knowing that someone else (God) has our backs brings a sense of calm.
3) My grandfather did whatever was needed to help his community. He was a farmer who shared his crops with other families in need. He served on the Tribal Council to help make decisions to help everyone’s life improve on the reservation. And he served as a Police Officer to help maintain peace among the people. (I believe he also drove a school bus at one time.) How can we serve others today? Look out for your neighbors and be kind to others. Find ways to serve and help one another.
4) My grandfather demonstrated generosity and compassion during harvest time on the farm. When the crops were ready to be picked, the family worked together to gather the ripen foods and store in their root cellar. When Grandpa knew his family had enough to survive, he let other villagers in need to come and pick the rest of the crops to fill their cellars. And even then, according to the Lakota way, the last crops were left behind to feed the animals and left behind to fall to the ground to replenish the earth for the next season. How does this story help us today? When you go out to the stores, take what you need and leave some for the rest. Think about others with compassion.
We are all in this together.
I wish you Peace, Love, and Kindness over the next several weeks.
Author of SIOUX CODE TALKERS OF WORLD WAR II
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