This old fossil just turned 65! From as far back in history as I know, grandpas in all countries and tribes were looked up to and highly respected. They were the encyclopedia of the time. They knew a lot and they had a lifetime of experiences. The younger generations even looked after Grandpa if need be. That must have been nice! Grandfathers’ knowledge came from the school of hard knocks. Kids, grandkids and neighbours went to him for advice and his stories. It was the best school you could go to. If you didn’t have a grandpa, you missed out or found someone else’s grandpa to be a replacement. You learned, listened and had fun with crazy grandpa and always respected him.
Then something happened. All of a sudden in our Western world, grandpa lost his status. He is not important, not up with the times, doesn’t understand or know much, and he’s old. Of course, grandpa’s are always old, but the value of that experience is diminished now that the media, credit cards and the computer have taken over. The media with its advertising tells our young people what they need. Everyone has a credit card and we can always pay later and have what we want now. The computer has all the information we need. So who needs Grandpa?
Now Grandpa goes fishing himself. Picks berries himself. Listens to the birds and watches the animals himself. He watches in total disbelief at what happened to our society. He knows what is wrong and knows it is so simple to fix, but can’t do anything because no one listens anymore. He knows not to spend more than you earn. To save a little for a rainy day. To be kind and helpful. To treat others as you would like to be treated. He knows that education is very important, and at the same time you still need to have some old fashioned fun without the computers and video games. He has so much to teach, but no one to teach it too. How sad!
In a few short years, when everyone is in big trouble, when the collectors are calling, when the house is going, and everyone is depressed, then they’ll come to ask grandpa for help. Poor grandpa in tears says, “I’m sorry, I can’t, it’s too late, but listen to me now. If you can fix your mess and turn over a new leaf, don’t spend more than you earn, have respect for things and people, and save a little for later (it will rain.) Also, be humble.”
Hopefully eventually everybody will learn these simple truths, otherwise the long-time respect for grandfathers that took place for generations is now broken and will never come back. For sure this Grandpa will always be a recycled teenager at heart.
John Kapicki farms near Andrew, Alta. To order his book “Trials and Tribulations of a Prairie Farmer,” call him at 1-780-365-2398.