Until recently, very little changed between generations. Children would grow up knowing the same world as their parents. Not so today. Our parent's generation lived in a time we will never understand.
My mom walked through former orange groves and watched the construction of Disneyland on her way to school. She experienced some strange family situations as a young girl, her oldest daughter dying in a horse accident, divorce, life as a single parent before remarrying and enduring me.
My dad watched his brother fight polio and wither in an iron lung. Dad recovered from cancer in his shoulder and the resulting reconstruction, the death of his daughter, the successes and failures of being an entrepreneur ahead of his time, divorce, life as a single parent before remarrying and me.
I look at pictures and read the stories, but it is hard to relate. The trials, tribulations, and events of their lives had a significant influence on who I am today and formed my perception of the world.
When I am an old man, entertaining the youngsters with stories of the days before the latest communications gadget, they won't be able to understand fully.
It will be the same as my grandmother describing the drive into California on the wooden boards laid across the desert to prevent cars from getting stuck in the sand. If the vehicle broke down, they just sat and waited for help. Driving my Toyota down the vast smooth interstate at 75 mph and roadside assistance a phone call away, it is hard to relate.
What were the difficulties your family endured that have influenced how you see the world?
Do you have a mindset of scarcity or abundance?
Do you have a fixed or growth mindset?
Are the government and law enforcement corrupt or working on your side?
How do you view different races and how does this influence your opinion of mixed-race couples?
Who was the enemy during the war in which your parents fought? How does this generational memory impact your thinking of that people group?
What lesson learned from your parent's struggle, has been the most helpful?
How does this realization inspire gratitude for your parents and their trials?