“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:
“Those bygone workmen did not serve, they worked. They had an absolute honor, which is honor proper. … A tradition coming, springing from deep within the [French] race, a history, an absolute, an honor, demanded that this chair rung be well made. Every part of the...read more
“…the absent are present, the poor are rich, the weak are strong, and—even more difficult—the dead are alive.” Cicero, On Friendship In our times the issue of presence deserves special attention. What constitutes real human presence? Too often, it seems, those who are...read more
“When cordially united, a father and sons, or a family of brothers and sisters, may, in almost any state of life, set what is called misfortune at defiance.” William Cobbett, The Cottage Economy VIDEO FOLLOWED BY DISTINCT WRITTEN REFLECTION: The other evening we sat...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.