What advice would you tell your 18-year-old self?

Hindsight is always 20/20. When we look back on our younger years, we often conclude that we might think or act differently...

Hindsight is always 20/20. When we look back on our younger years, we often conclude that we might think or act differently. That hindsight is crystal clear because of the experiences we have earned. But what if you could harness the power of those experiences before you encountered all that life will throw at you?

In previous eras, it was traditionally the responsibility of older generations to ensure that their youth learned the family’s history and carried on their heritage through storytelling. Stories were filled with a wealth of valuable wisdom and knowledge for future generations to learn and benefit from, in order to not make the same mistakes as their previous ancestors.

We all have a story to tell, many stories in fact. Unfortunately, in an age of instant and unlimited access to recorded historical information, we’ve lost the art of storytelling as a result of a transition to digital, rather than verbal, means. We have forgotten our heritage.

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A 2020 Ancestry.com survey found that more than half of Americans cannot name all of their grandparents. “53% between ages 26-41 couldn’t name all four, 61% between ages 42-57, and 30% of those ages 58-76.” History records that the wisdom of past generations was once highly valued, while our current society seems to no longer treasure their wisdom and truth. We’re losing generations of family history because we no longer pass down our stories.

There’s a book called 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans. The author, Karl A. Pillemer, is a renowned gerontologist. After a life changing encounter with a 90-year-old woman, Karl went on a quest to capture wisdom from more than one thousand Americans over the age of 65. Their advice on issues like children, marriage, money, careers and aging all centered around 30 themes. These lessons from older generations are like cheat codes for life.

Those who have gone before have wisdom, and those who come after us need wisdom.

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