It’s been a while since we’ve shared a “writer’s list,” and this one is chock full-o-elderly wisdom. We thought back, and gave some of our grandparents a call to conjure up those lessons and tips bestowed upon us throughout our formative years. Enjoy…
My dad’s mom has always said to me “When it doubt, order Malbec. I’ve never had a bad experience with a Malbec.”
My mom’s mom has always said to me “Never say ‘no’ to a date, even with the goyim. At least you’ll get a free meal out of it.”
From My Grandma:
If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.
-Don’t give advice unless you’re asked for it
-Have a reputation that you get up at 6, then you can sleep till 10
-They say “why me”, and I say “why not me?”
My grandmother used to say, “it is what it is” — a reminder to let go of the things you can’t change.
My grandma used to say “There aren’t enough mothers in this world”
I’ve taken that to mean, a caring family results in a caring world.
“To avoid a mundane experience of longtime love, close your eyes everyday, take a long, deep breath, then open your eyes. In that exact moment, think back to the very first time you met your significant other while embracing them and smiling. Do that and your love will be strong as ever.”
“During my grandfather’s service in World War II, he was among the troops that helped liberate a concentration camp. In telling the story, he talks about how the soldiers arrived at the camp – hungry and tired from fighting and traveling – only to see thousands of people that had been to hell and back multiple times over. At that time, their fatigue and discontent was sharply put into focus.
This point of his story is this – whatever you’re going through, and however difficult it may seem, do your best to keep things in perspective. Someone out there has it far worse than you do. As “first-world problems” often take center stage in our lives, I find this perspective-check increasingly important. It’s alright that you barely missed your train; you’ll get the next one.”
My late grandmother was a wise woman. She always said the following:
“Don’t worry be happy.”
“Que sera sera. Whatever will be will be.”
“If you can count your closest friends on one hand, you’re beyond lucky.”
“My grandmother passed away in 1995, so I was too young to appreciate much of what she could teach me. But one of the things I’ll never forget was this: When hosting a gathering, always have more food than you think you need.
It sounds fairly straightforward, but for her it had a lot of meanings. It meant always spoiling her grandchildren (my chubby childhood is Exhibit A). It meant a lot less worrying on her part during a party. But it also made it easy for her to be generous.
If my dad brought a friend home for family dinner? Of course! There’s plenty to share.
If she learned at the last minute her neighbor was spending a holiday alone? Pish! Come over and spend it with us.
If she ended up with enough turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving to make sandwiches for weeks? No problem! Bring half to the local food bank or church so others with less means could have something good to eat.”
“Make sure you make yourself look attractive when you grow up so you can marry a football player and then you’ll be set for life”