What Will Be Remembered

During the last year, it has felt like the entire world was at war. That’s not hyperbole.

It has been, after all, not just COVID-19; it’s been civil unrest, the threat of eliminated services — services we depend on to live and thrive — it’s been catastrophic climate events fueling floods, extreme winds, and fire, and it’s been the threat of military action that can signal the end for multiple nations. And then there’s the daily political craziness that has come to define our days. Sheesh, it’s a lot of drama and upset on our plates during the first part of this decade.

Hopefully, someday we’ll be able to look back at these days and remember where we were and how we coped with keeping ourselves and our families together and safe. Undoubtedly, there’ll be the type of questions that have continued through the decades like “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” or “…when the towers fell?”, or “… when your community burned?”.

What will be remembered about the swift moving tide of closures and reduced services during the coronavirus, the latest threat to sustaining life as we know it? Plus, we’ll never want to forget all the first responders both locally and across the nation that stood ready to fight for us at their own peril. We’ve lost thousands of these heroes in this year alone.

Future generations will want to know about the time, not as much from textbooks but from those who lived through it all.

As a community elder, your perspective is calmer than those with pressured jobs, huge mortgages, and small children. Someday your words will be educational. Can you imagine there will come a time when someone who is not yet born will appreciate your perspective and the sharing of your experiences? Believe it. We might not be around in person to share our stories, but hopefully our words can be read or listened to. You can immortalize things that happened and how you felt.

It’s important during challenging times that each of us be remembered for our behavior. Were we tense and folded in tight? Did we share the resources we could with others? Did we calm others with our wise words of experience? Did we listen?

What will you remember about all these times and, just as important, how did you respond to events?

If you feel you can, write all these remembrances and feelings of yours down in a journal or online in a location others will find them and share. It’s important for our experiences to be shared for those who aren’t here yet or were too young to remember. Better that future generations learn about what happened to you and how events made you feel through your words, so they know and feel fortunate to have not been a part of it. The best case is if people can learn from your sharing and perhaps avoid making mistakes.