As Ferris Bueller’s Matthew Broderick reminded us all those years ago, “life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
And now almost 30 years later, this very quote still resonates with millions of people.
As a child, we believed we were invincible. We would live every day with the notion that will still had a gazillion more left ahead of us.
Moving into our 20s & 30s, we sometimes look to the future with that same immortality. We start our first career, maybe purchase our first home, and if we’re lucky enough, we marry the person we love.
We have the next 50 years mapped out in our minds, and have no doubt that we have plenty of time before we get there.
But then fast forward 50 years later – and we find ourselves saying “wow – where did the time go!?” And with over 25,000 days now behind us, which quite frankly doesn’t seem like much, we begin looking back at the history that makes up our life story & just try to make sense of it all.
So America’s Footprints wanted to know if today’s baby boomers could sum up their life story into a single piece of advice, specifically directed to the next generation.
And here is what some of them had to say:
- “You think we had the same luxuries as you do? You think our parents would buy anything we wanted at the drop of a hat? WRONG! We earned our money. We earned respect. And we learned what it means to work for what you want.I don’t care what you believe or what you think you are entitled to. Stop living your life depending on someone else to pick up after you. Get out and EARN your dreams.” –Joe P.
- “Just because you have a plan, that doesn’t mean it won’t change. Flexibility and being able to adapt to life’s unexpected turns is one of the biggest survival tools you’ll need. Without it, you’ll end up following a path you weren’t meant to be on.” – Harry R.
- “There is that old saying: ‘people come and go’. But it makes no mention of the fact that sometimes people will return. You might be surprised at how time can turn friends into enemies, who then become friends again.” – Marriett T.
- “If you wake up in the morning, you are still breathing and still have a chance to do something with your life. Stop living your days in sorrow and regret. Because if you insist on living a life of depression and have a ‘woe is me’ attitude, they you’re not living at all.” – Robin R.
- “Life is going to throw you plenty of curveballs you weren’t expecting. Problem is no one seems to learn from them. You kids keep maybe the same stupid decisions because mommy and daddy are always there to bail you out.Well guess what – one day they won’t be. And one day you’ll find yourself sitting in solitude like a baby in a crib…itching to get out, but having no capabilities of doing so.There is always a lesson to be learned. It is your job to find out what that lesson was, and to make better decisions in life as a result of it.” – Jocelyn B.
- “People are always out for themselves. If you think you have friends or family who are do things because they solely want to ‘help others’, you’re wrong.While there are plenty of awesome people in the world who do great things, the majority of them are selfish. They help you because it satisfies an internal need, or because they believe they’ll get something for it afterwards.That doesn’t mean people are bad. That just means they are in it for themselves. And awareness is all you need right now.” – Anonymous
- “Don’t grow up. If you are 65 and have an urge to visit your local playground, nothing should stop you. It doesn’t matter how silly you look or how people stare at you in disbelief. Get out and embrace your inner child. Because though our bodies age, our spirit still craves the fun we once had as children.” – Billy M.
- “Don’t lose sight of what’s really important. Sure you need money to put food on the table, a roof over your head, and to experience the finer pleasures in life. But what good is all that if you’re too busy working and can’t enjoy the fruits of your labor?” – Lee C.
- “Trust is something you must earn. It is not a god-given right. If you make the decision to break that trust, than you will never be trusted again in that person’s eyes…regardless of what they might tell you.” – Kristie H.
- “When you make a decision, don’t’ look back. It doesn’t matter if it applies to business or your personal life. If your decision was made with genuine intentions, you have nothing to be ashamed about…even if it turns out to be the wrong one.” – Donald J.
- “I know at times you may feel like there is no way out. But say a prayer, believe in yourself, and have confidence that life will always find a way to help you through those tough times.” – Charles W.
- “We live in a world of fear. Everyone is afraid to say anything. People are afraid to stand up for themselves for fear of a petty lawsuit. Even employees are scared to ask for time off with family.If someone hurts you, defend yourself. If someone defames you, stand up for you believe in. If you want to take a day off of work to see your son’s baseball game or your daughter’s dance recital, then take off!Stop living in fear. Because one day you won’t be living anymore.” – Anonymous
- “Let’s face facts – life as you know it will end. Everyone you know will eventually become another face in history without a story behind it.Do your best to embrace the opportunities that life presents you with, and remember to pass down those traditions, memories, and life experiences to your children. Live a life today that your great grandchildren will want to follow tomorrow.” – Angela J.
So what is the one message we can take away from all of this advice? The truth is, there isn’t just one message. Life is what we make of it, and our life story is a book with unwritten chapters still ahead.
We hold the pen, and we turn the pages. And all of know that one day, our book will have an ending.
Thus when your future descendants open your story, they’ll will long for adventure. They will crave passion, sorrow, love, excitement, drama, experience, and wisdom. They will be expecting all of the characteristics that make up an amazing story, and will turn each page expecting one thing, but reading another.
So when they reach the end, we leave you with one final question: “what is the moral of your story?”