What's one of the best way to share with your children and grandchildren who you are as a person?
Share you opinion on topics of importance to you. Here's something I wrote to share with my family.
MY OPINION ABOUT OPINIONS
With an election leering around the corner, political opinions are rising to a crescendo. I find it interesting, and maybe a little irritating, to watch as Republican candidates bash Hillary and Democrats smugly think their candidate is a shoo-in. This year, it seems that everyone has picked a side and are adamant that theirs is the RIGHT one! And if you don't agree, you are WRONG! Candidate bashing has gone to a new and unhealthy level, yet it's all a matter of opinion.
Opinions are an interesting thing in of themselves. We're told to avoid topics such as politics and religion because most people will furiously defend their views on these topics, and if you want to keep your friends and not alienate family members then don't talk about these things. However, there are a lot of other topics that people take a stance on that maybe should be avoided.... or not.
For example, grandparents giving parenting advice to their children. A friend recently told me she did this and was told by her daughter, "I'm the parent!" I can remember telling my dad the same thing. Shouldn't years of experience give grandparents the right to express their opinions? As a grandparent, I like to think so. As a young mother .... probably not. Parenting is a tough job, probably the toughest a person will ever do, and no one is an expert. As parents we make our mistakes and we have to live with them.... sometimes until those mistakes are well into their 40s or beyond. As grandparents we have lived and we have learned and, well, we raised them and they turned out okay so maybe that gives us the right to share our opinion.... Right?
As for sharing my opinions with my grandchildren, I'm sure they would rather I didn't... especially on the topic of tattoos. I raised my children to believe it was a sin to write on themselves. If they came home from school with ink on their arms, they were immediately sent to the washroom to scrub, scrub and scrub some more until all traces were removed. I taught them that paper was to draw on... not your body! However, kids now-a-days are having permanent pictures inked all over themselves. In my opinion that is stupid, in their opinion it is art. I question as to whether their taste in art has changed over the years and to consider that someday they may not like the decorations on their bodies. However, they are convinced I'm just old fashioned... maybe I am. But I still believe that someday they will regret it... ummm, that's just my opinion.
When I was a teenager, pierced ears became the style. Parents were totally against us making our ears into permanent earring holders. At church we were warned against it. So instead of having it professionally done, we put ice on our ears and when they were numb enough, jabbed a darning needle through them. In my opinion, my parents were old fashioned. In their opinion, I was stupid.
On a more serious note is the topic of abortion. I think most people have an opinion on this topic. I have friends who have had abortions. Apparently I don't believe in them because I have 7 children. I don't like the thought of a developing fetus being aborted, but then again I don't like the thought of an 11 year-old girl who has been raped being forced to have a child. There are many sides to look at when forming an opinion.
As 4.1 million Syrian refugees flee from a deadly regime, the rest of the world is faced with the decision of letting them into their countries, or not. Turkey and Lebanon have taken in well over 1 million each. To date Canada has welcomed 25,000 refugees and is committed to admitting another 32,000 by the end of 2016 (1), while the United States has pledged to host 10,000 by the end of 2016 (2). As of 2015, the United States had given the largest share of financial aid, $601 million or 33% of the total given ... and a lot of people will have something to say about that.(3)
Now most people have an opinion as to whether any refugees should be allowed to enter our countries... after all aren't we opening the door for terrorists to come in?В Aren't Syrian's the enemy? Yet if we look individually at the families that are fleeing, we see parents who are terrified that they and their children will be killed. As parents, I'm not sure any of us would be any different if our families faced a similar threat. It seems that when we look at things from a satellite perspective, we fail to acknowledge the humanity of each person involved. Of course, that's just my opinion.
On every topic we will find people with opinions different from ours. It's what makes us unique. I think the saddest thing would be to never develop an opinion on anything, and like sheep just go with the herd... or the most boisterous. Sometimes it may be better to keep our opinions to ourselves. However, when sharing our opinions, it's important to listen to and respect the opinions of others. Just remember, it's our opinions that make us USвЂ¦ and thatвЂ™s just my opinion.
Sharing your opinions and passions with your posterity will help them to better understand who you are and what you believe. Take the time today to share your thoughts.
Lynda Fisher is the author of Your Legacy, Your Life and I Wish You Happiness: Creating an Ethical Will for the People You Love. She is passionate about the practice of Legacy writing. As a speaker, author and business entrepreneur, she is sharing her message with others throughout North America in hopes they will join her in her crusade to preserve their life stories and family history.