“Come, rather,” then she said, “dear guest, and tell us
From the beginning the Greek stratagems…”
The room fell silent, and all eyes were on him,
As Father Aeneas from his high couch began…
Virgil, The Aeneid

Each of us has stories: the stories that are chapters of our life.

To hear another’s stories is to enter the drama of his life. Often, it is also to learn a part of our own story.

Yet the lives of many of those closest to us—including our own parents and grandparents, or our dear friends—can remain a closed book to us.

It is in our power to open these books, but it will take a specific effort. We have lost habits of story-telling and of generational sharing. Our elders have no expectation that we want to hear their stories or that there will be a context for them to be heard.

The young will need to take initiative in expressing interest and in making such contexts. Those who are older (even if not very ‘old’) will need to step forward; you have something to say that needs to be heard. The time is now; connections need to be made.

What was it like growing up where and when you did? How did you meet your spouse, or your friends? How were you educated? Where did you work? What adventures did you have? What about the stories you heard from your elders? To those who love you, these stories are life-giving, and only you can tell them.

What better time to make space for story-telling and life-sharing than at our Thanksgiving gathering? It will take some effort and some re-arranging of our plans. But the pay-off will be beyond reckoning.

Virgil (70-19 B.C.) is the great Roman poet, author of The Aeneid and The Georgics.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:

Keeping Traditional Observances

“...anyone who carelessly rejects the external traditions or treats them with irony is doing something dangerous.” Josef Pieper "Indeed, modern men, who lack such things, lack sustenance, and our fathers who founded all those ritual observances were very wise."...

read more

Directing Our Conversation

“Socrates’ own conversation was ever of human matters. Investigating what is pious, what is impious; what is beautiful, what is ugly; what is just, what is unjust; what is prudence, what is madness…

read more

Grandpa’s Stories at Thanksgiving

“So take refreshment, take your ease in hall, and cheer the time with stories. I’ll begin. Not that I think of naming, far less telling, every feat of that rugged man, Odysseus, but here is something that he dared to do…” Helen of Troy, in Homer, The Odyssey VIDEO,...

read more

Husband, father, and professor of Philosophy. Bacon from Acorns springs from one conviction: there is an ancient wisdom about how to live the good life in our homes, with our families; and it is worth our time to hearken to it. Let’s rediscover it together. Learn more.

Pin It on Pinterest