Believe it or not, this post is not about politics. It’s about change. Regardless of your political position or beliefs, you’d have to be living in a deep jungle to be unaware how fast things are changing. It’s too soon to say if life will be better for Americans in general or if some form of Armageddon is at hand as current headlines seem to suggest. Heavens above, collecting those headlines today for the collage you see above was an anxiety-laden task!
For better or worse, I’m betting on the end of life as we’ve known it. It’s already drastically changed from what I knew as a child.
In any case, it’s time to preserve memories of the past. WRITE ABOUT LIFE AS YOU HAVE KNOWN IT. You can’t count on history books to tell it like it was for you. History is always written through filters, and those filters change over time, subject to prevailing culture. If lifestyles in the future are an improvement, let your progeny know how much better it is.
On the other hand, if, as some fear, tyranny is at hand, preserve a picture of freedom. Keep its memory alive.
I am convinced that it’s important for families to create personal archives, and to keep print copies as well as backups in pdf format on DVD disks or thumb drives. What if the internet came tumbling down? What if libraries full of books were burned? What if …?
No, I do not anticipate a Doomsday scenario, but … what if?
In addition to preserving your memories of the past and what life was like, share your reflections about it. I’m not writing about politics and my personal beliefs here, but I am writing piles of journal entries and essays that aren’t public, but will be available for family. I want my grandchildren to know what I believe, what I feel, what actions I’m taking.
Writing prompts for preserving a picture of life in the past
- How much freedom did you have as a child? Did you freely roam the neighborhood? Ride your bike across town when you were 10 or 12? Play hide-and-seek with the neighborhood gang after dark in the summer?
- What did you do to pass the time before computers and electronic games? Did your family play cards or other games together? Do crafts?
- What was it like to cook real food from scratch without frozen entrees?
- Did you go to church? What were/are your beliefs?
- What political party did your parents support (if any)?
- Were you ever involved in any protests or demonstrations? Which ones? How and what did you do?
- Did you or your dad ever change the oil in the family car or fix a flat tire on t he road, or do other maintenance?
- What was medical care like? Were you ever in the hospital? How much did it cost when your children were born?
- How have your views changed over the years?
- What are your views on the corner our country seems to be turning right now? What was your position on the 2016 election? Keep a log of your thoughts as things unfold.
This mini-list should get your wheels turning.
Don’t put this off another minutes. Write fast. Write off the top of your head. You may edit it later, but get it on paper, write now!