Grandpa’s Lessons

As I stumbled along the dirt road, occasionally I would reach my hand up and slip it into that of my Grandpa Jesse’s. As an independence streak struck, I would then pull it back managing my steps all on my own at least for a few feet then I would once again find myself repeating the process.
No matter which action I took, I could look up into his face and see a smile beaming back at me. What an amazing gift is the special bond that grows between a loving grandparent and a grandchild.
They can give so much love and many like mine at times had the desire to share a lifetime of experience. I thank God, mine gave me the insights at a young age, to listen and learn.
I think one of the greatest lessons shared with me was how to handle yourself when you realized you have wronged someone in some way. It could be a simple as a misunderstanding or a downright disagreement.
From their example, I saw that one should admit a mistake and apologize to move the relationship forward. If you are the injured party, take the first step, express your concerns and allow the other person an easy opportunity to make amends.
If they choose not to do so, then you have done all you can to mend the fences.
Unfortunately, folks are not always in the same place at the same time.
Although Christianity teaches to forgive, that was an area that I have seen loved ones and friends struggle with throughout my life.
I struggle with it myself, often times I fall back on hardened lessons shared through the generations based in centuries of tribal or clan conflicts and feuds.
I have watched loving, caring people who would give you the shirt of their back, get up on their back legs and growl when a situation involved and ancestral enemy or a ostracized family member or former friend.
While I received lessons through oral stories, I have worked to distance myself from continuing such disputes into my life. Some even go back beyond written records. They do often add color to stories I share but for me the feuds are long past.
I find as time passes in my life, I have to work harder not to add to the list with my own experiences with other people.
It would be easy to simply write someone off, as often was a practice, and have no more to do with him or her, once they have done you wrong, will not apologize or admit a mistake.
But unless continuing that relationship is destructive, I am striving to make an effort to not fall into some of the footsteps left by my mountain highland kin through the centuries. But that’s not to say there might not be a situation that calls for their approach but I don’t know if I am up to a good sword fight, pistols at ten paces, or gathering the clan for feudin’ at any time in the near future.
So, I think the approaches mentioned earlier, might be the best for all concerned. Of course, the other person does have to be concerned. If their not, they probably shouldn’t be that important to your life anyway.