One of the greatest joys of family is the sense of continuation from one generation to the next, and this is never more noticeable than at Family Reunions.
Life is a journey of experiences. There’s no simpler way to express the richness of what life has to offer us; experiences are how we learn, how we grow, and how we love. Those experiences, stories and life lessons deserve to be passed on so that the family as a whole can learn and grow. When all these separate threads are woven together, they begin to tell the true rich history of a family, in the words of those who actually lived through it all. They give a window onto the past, and onto the personalities of the people who helped build the present.
Family Reunions are more than just the perfect time for a fun summer barbecue. They’re also incredibly special concentrations of knowledge, tradition and history, and families should take every possible chance to join in, to both pass on and receive new experiences that have occurred in their lives. In most extended families, there are many older members who have accumulated vast stores of life’s wisdom, and it’s important not to let that knowledge pass away unremembered and uncelebrated.
As we’ve all come to learn, life sometimes throws a wrench into our plans, and the most valuable life lessons may be left unsaid and unremembered. With a bit of careful attention, though, this doesn’t have to be the case. As you plan your Family Reunions, why not take the opportunity to include the creation of your own personal version of a ‘family history book’? Start building a resource of the stories and knowledge and life lessons from the entire family, so that nothing is ever lost. These stories will show the world through the unique view of each storyteller, and together create a sense of continuity and lineage which will help teach lessons to future generations they may never get a chance to learn otherwise.
Oftentimes, sadly, it’s the youngest generations who are least willing to participate in the passing on of knowledge that happens at Family Reunions, despite the fact that they have the most to learn. Parents can easily help show their children the value of learning from older generations by participating in the experiences themselves, and letting the children participate in their own version of the storytelling. Teaching children and teens this kind of respect for the value of family history can have a profound impact on how they will teach the next generation, extending the value of the knowledge indefinitely into the future.