At a family dinner the other day, I spent some time conversing with my grandparents. As always, I got another "back in the day" story followed by a "you don't know how lucky you are". It's crazy to think about the differences in growing up now and growing up back when my grandparents did. It seems to me that as time goes on, it becomes easier and easier to get older, and people take longer and longer to grow up (mentally).
When my grandpa was slightly older than I am now, he was back in Russia, at war. He lost his sister and his father in the war, and his mother died soon after from disease. I realized that he was forced to grow up and become entirely independent at the age my brother had gone off to college to party and prepare for his adult life. It really makes me think about the "you don't know how lucky you are" statement. My problems and stressers as a kid now are nothing compared to the obstacles my grandparents and even my parents had to overcome. They were Jews in Europe during World War II. They had to fight to survive, which is significantly more strenuous than getting a bad grade on a test. Obviously, some of their problems I can relate to because they're human nature, and they carry on generation after generation. As I'm growing up, I realize that it's necessary to keep an open mind and look at the world from a variety of perspectives. As I learned in brain studies, every individual perceives information differently, so stepping into their shoes isn't the worst idea to try to understand where they're coming from.