As part of the evolution of the Sharing Perspective to Share Smiles project I considered various angles from which to go.
Always confident the project would evolve so I didn’t need all the answers right away.
What originally came to mind was to share perspective from the angle of commentary heard over the years, one heard in one form or another since I was a young child. Rather than repeat the wording I’ll explain the concern.
Older people seemed consistently concerned that knowledge gained from the perspective of experience was being lost because changes associated with “Nuclear Family” and “Latch Key Kids” meant there wasn’t a clear [read traditional] path to transfer the knowledge.
As opposed to book knowledge/education which provides only part of the story.
Even as I heard the concerns I heard others saying the theme was one they too grew up hearing. What made that interesting was that it was my parents’ generation saying that last while their parents were expressing the concern the knowledge wasn’t being transferred.
I think a lot of the concern stemmed from wondering “how” that critical knowledge was going to be transferred in an age of change.
I was never particularly passionate about the concern. It wasn’t anything I worried about because I was busy soaking up stories from those around me.
From all ages and walks of life.
Here’s the thing. I wasn’t the only one doing so.
I remember many discussions in elementary school where kids would share stories from grandparents, neighbors, their parents’coworkers, many of whom had fought and/or lived through World War II and earlier.
What stands out in memory is the number of questions asked by youth who wanted to learn from someone who had more experience.
Questions born of respect for that knowledge and experience.
Experience is Experience.
It isn’t always the older crowd to provide perspective. I listened avidly to stories teenage aunts and uncles told of first jobs, friendships, romantic relationships.
It wasn’t that, closer to me in age, I better related to them. They just had a different perspective of the same subjects than older people, which made it interesting.
I also listened to the perspective of neighbors who may have lived in the same area but came from different backgrounds which translated into different perspectives.
Again, I wasn’t the only one.
At this stage of life I’ve heard enough from peers to know the knowledge was not lost. Not only that, it’s being passed down to generations coming up behind.
The way of life may be different and the tools of communication may have changed but at the heart people really are people.
Caring and wanting to do the right thing.
I see many examples of younger generations working alongside older to make the world a better place and in each situation there is a transfer of that knowledge.
The filters may change but the motivation – love and caring – remains.
What this means for my project is that what is shared is from a variety of people from different generations and backgrounds, gained while living or traveling in a variety of places.
Always listening and learning.
It’s an exciting angle of perspective I’m happy to share,
Note: The image is an ode to some Old World fishermen who were happy and willing to share their adventures with a curious eighth grader.