Tradition

grandfather-sleeping-old-man-alone

My grandfather is asleep in an old brown armchair that is for his use, and his use only. He has read the local newspaper and fallen asleep in it after his midday meal. He is old and tired because he starts early and works too hard for an old man. But I wish he would wake up. Sometimes when he is not working he tells me stories. He loves to tell stories. True stories. This is how he passes on his values. How he tells me who we are. They have morals, these stories.

We don’t give up, even when things are bad.
We pay our debts.
We work hard.
We act decently.
We help our neighbours if they need it.
We do what we say we will do.
We don’t want much attention.
We look after our own.
We are proud of what we do.
We try to be quietly smart.
We take chances sometimes to get on.
We will fail sometimes.
We will be affected by the wider world …
But we hold on to who we are.

It was clear from his stories that we were part of a tradition, that long pre-dated us, and would long exist after us. The stories left you feeling proud to be part of that tradition, but very aware that as individuals we were bound by duty to carry it on, bound to try and live by those values. His main lesson was above all to get along with people; don’t burn your bridges or they will stay down for a long time. Having the same families live and work alongside each other for many centuries created a unique kind of society with special values.

~ James Rebanks, The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape.


Notes:

Comments

  1. I am working on a column about the adventure I am experiencing in my quest to get this book. I think you will appreciate it once it is completed. It may take a few weeks as it may become a short book all by itself. Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thankyou for this dear Christmas gift David …..blessings , megxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. May all grandchildren continue the tradition of listening to their grandfolk. The lessons are invaluable. And may all grandparents continue to teach! This is lovely, thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. How beautiful, Thank you dear David, Merry Christmas, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is precious post, David. I enjoyed every single word. Have a great Christmas. Stefy .🙋

    Liked by 1 person

  6. These words really resonate with my family’s traditional values .
    Now we have Clifford the Big Red Dog 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  7. So much good here, “We try to be quietly smart.” resonates. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such wisdom in these simple edicts. Life doesn’t have to be complicated, it really doesn’t…. Wishing you a simple, savory holiday wrapped in the love of those you hold dear, pal. Merry Christmas….

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Once again a story resonates with me. My grandfather passed on countless values to me through stories told as we worked together on his farm. Merry Christmas

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on Views from the Hill and commented:
    This is how values were passed on to me by my grandfather. Merry Christmas, everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Finally got my copy this afternoon….

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great story whose values we should all adhere to.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Strength in silence. I know many.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Peggy Farrell says:

    Merry Christmas, Dave, and thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Family, community…the ties that bind, that teach and unite a belonging, radiating, love. In sharing his wisdom, James Rebanks, illustrates life, lived, well & fully….bestowing a Legacy of True Wealth…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. i absolutely love this.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Everyday, my dad came in for dinner (our mid-day meal), read the paper, then put it over his face as he took a 15 minute nap in his chair. Then, he was ready to go back out to the field for another 8 hours.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. It’s funny like that…you have your vision and your myths about parents and grandparents. Then one day you hear a story. And suddenly they have lives that existed before yours.
    BTW – for those looking, I found multiple copies, both new and used, on ABEbooks.com
    Just gotta know where to look…for those stories… 🙂

    – J.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. A great Code of Honor to live by, for every man and woman.

    Like

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