The Enormous Value of Grandparents
(Happy Grandparents Day Today!)
Anthropologists (really smart scientists who study ancient humans) tell us that something extraordinary happened to the human race sometime around 30,000 years ago.
It was at this time that our species - Homo sapiens - suddenly began to live exponentially longer than before. We can tell this very readily by the fossil record from that time.
No longer were dad and mom almost certainly gone from the family by the age of thirty. Prior to this time, people so very rarely made it into “old age”. Likely they were often eaten by some bigger, stronger mammal roaming around. Or perhaps they succumbed to the countless bacterial infections that surely resulted from the scrapes of common everyday accidents. The thing was - our ancient ancestors rarely lived long lives.
Then suddenly - for whatever reason or reasons, they did.
Grandparents burst upon the scene.
And with grandparents came perhaps the greatest leap in human learning ever. Our ancestors could now pass on priceless information and wisdom provided by those among us who were both older and wiser; the type of wisdom gained primarily from having lived such long lives.
Imagine how thrilling it must have been to look forward to Papaw and Nana telling stories around a crackling campfire each night. (And I hope you don’t even have to imagine, my friends, because it’s just as thrilling today!)
The survival of the entire tribe often likely depended on the wisdom of grandparents; where to find the best watering holes, the best methods to avoid hungry predators, which plants best cured which illnesses and wounds, and - perhaps most importantly - how to resolve heated disputes with others in a peaceable manner.
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