In “The Last Lecture,” Randy Pausch talks about the lessons he learned from his parents about showing appreciation and about generativity. Close to the end of his life, he still felt strongly about giving back when he could and “paying it forward” when he could not. Even though he knew he was dying, he emphasized simple things like writing thank you notes and more complicated ones like expressing gratitude graciously when someone had been helpful. Randy was proud of his parents. The way they lived their lives and with their charitable projects – like funding a school in rural Thailand – they were wonderful role models.
As a Sandwiched Boomer, what life lessons have your aging parents passed on to you? What do you see as your parents’ strengths? What kind of role models have they been? As you consider these questions, perhaps you will also begin to think about what philosophy of life you are modeling for your growing children. How are you shaping the adults they will become? Take this opportunity to reflect on what kind of example you want to set. Then begin to behave in the way that best reflects your values and beliefs.