Wisdom – life lessons learned – comes to us over time. Grandchildren present us with an opportunity to share what we may not have known as a young parent. More than any other Leadership role I hold today, my role as "Mima" is one I raise to the highest priority; it has opened the love floodgates. It has burned a need in me to take advantage of every opportunity to share those treasured nuggets of wisdom and history – what matters most.
I celebrate and share this interview with author Tom McQueen to encourage other Grandparents to pass on the most valuable insights – their legacy. Read what he has to say about his latest book: Letters To Ethan: A Grandfather's Legacy of Life & Love.
What sparked the idea to write Letters to Ethan?
One day I started thinking about my own mortality and how I would want to be remembered by my children and grandchildren. I just didn’t want to die and leave them a memory, although positive memories are certainly important and valuable. I wanted them to know that they’re here for a purpose, that God loves them; that I love them; and I wanted to share the mistakes and miracles of my own life with the hope that it would be of some benefit to them as they encountered their own challenges and opportunities in the future.
Why do you think it’s important for letters to be left behind?
I believe that it’s important to leave letters for your children and grandchildren to give them a perspective on life in general, your family traditions, the role that faith has played in your family as well as the wisdom that you’ve acquired over the years. In addition, each letter is a ray of hope in that it communicates to the recipient that we all face challenges and obstacles in our lives and that with patience, persistence, passion, and purpose those challenges and obstacles can be overcome and result in a meaningful life.
Do you really think letters can have an impact on young people?
Absolutely. I’ve seen the results first-hand in adult children whose parents left legacy letters for them. In addition, when parents have shared letters with their adult children, the feelings of joy, contentment, and satisfaction have strengthened the bond between them immensely. In addition, when a young person realizes that a grandparent took the time to write them a legacy letter, it has a definite impact upon their sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
What inspired you to start Legacy Nation? (www.legacynationusa.com)
Two events triggered my passion for Legacy Nation. First of all, I had two sets of grandparents — one that I lived with growing up in a two-story flat in upstate New York and knew as well as my parents, and the other set of grandparents that I never met. I still remember the happiness that I enjoyed with the grandparents that lived upstairs and the sadness that I felt at now knowing anything about my paternal grandparents.
I saw Legacy Nation as an opportunity to bridge two worlds. Parents and grandparents could write letters to their children and grandchildren on an ongoing basis while they are alive, sharing their wisdom, experiences, trials and tribulations, joys as well as the faith, hope, and love that they have in their kids and grandkids. Their children and grandchildren then would have those letters as a legacy that they could learn from and continue to build for their children and grandchildren as well.
At the same time, our nation is hurting. We need a re-energized faith, a new hope, and a return to that family foundation of love and respect that our forefathers relied upon to build these United States of America.
Progress is wonderful, technology is great, and the speed of change is a fact of life. Unfortunately, traditional family values are feeling the pinch from our current economic crisis and the demands placed upon our time result in less meaningful interaction with our kids and grandkids. I’m worried about the future of my children and grandchildren.
I founded Legacy Nation as a means to return to those values that made our nation great as well as an admired and respected people, a beacon of hope to mankind, and a blessing to our children and grandchildren.
If you could offer just one piece of advice to the next generation, what would it be?
God gave you three priceless gifts: your emotions, your intellect, and your will. And if you remember this thought you’ll know what to do with them: “God said, ‘Let’s build a better world.’ And I said, ‘How? The world is such a cold, dark place and so complicated now that there’s nothing I can do.’ God in all His wisdom said, ‘Just build a better you.’”
Where can we find out about more opportunities for a free copy of this book?
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I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services ( http://ChristianSpeakersServices.com ).