Lessons From The Past

The Be Kind team reflect on the valuable lessons they have learnt.

Grandparents are amongst the best people in the world. Whether you’re feeling poorly or you’re just in need of a good old chat, chances are, they’ll be waiting to welcome you into their home with open arms. And it’s not hard to admire grandparents – they’ve lived prosperous lives, accumulating heaps of wisdom ready to pass down to us. Sometimes, we can take this knowledge for granted. We asked members of the Be Kind team to share the most important lessons they’ve learnt from their beloved nans and grandads.

Don’t waste food
“As a kid, I was always told to clear my plate, and if I didn’t my grandparents would keep my leftovers for a mid-evening snack. I used to think this was a punishment, but now I can see that as they grew up on rations, they were used to making food stretch.” Tom, design manager

Never stop learning
“Thanks to my grandparents, I learnt a whole host of life lessons. My nan bought me my first sewing machine and taught me how to crochet. My granddad would help me tend their vegetable patch. I still sew, crochet and grow my own veg today!” Phillipa, editor

Talk, don’t call
“My grandad only lived an few streets down from my family home. Whether it was raining, snowing or beautiful sunshine, he’d walk to us if he wanted to tell us something, because he believed in the value of face-to-face conversations.” Lucy, deputy editor

Drink and smile
“Whenever I was sad, my grandad would give me a tea and tell me the same joke: ‘Why are magazines so sad?’ ‘Because they have so many issues!’. Possibly the worst joke in the world, but a hot cuppa and a couple of laughs can go a long way.” Gemma, editorial assistant

Be thankful
“My grandma was the most generous person I’ve ever met and she was grateful for everything she had. She would buy hot meals for the homeless, nurse abandoned animals back to health and invite lonely elderly people around for Christmas dinner.” Debbie, advertising sales

Live for the moment
“Every time I would visit my grandparents, they would tell me stories about their life. They didn’t need social media likes or hundreds of digital pictures – the important thing for them was enjoying the memories and moments they shared together.” Claire, designer

Respect the outdoors
“My grandparents are outdoor people. We would go on coastal walks, have picnics in the park and go foraging in the woods. They taught me about nature, and embedded a deep love and appreciation for our natural world within me.” Aaron, photographer

Handwritten letters
“Before they were married, my grandparents would send each other handwritten letters. They’ve both kept the whole collection. There’s so much more value in a handwritten note than a text or WhatsApp.” Emily, managing editor

Listen to people
“Advice can be great, but my grandma would always say people need to make their mind up on their own. Sometimes saying nothing at all, and just lending someone your ears can help them more. ” Jessie, illustrator

Don’t sweat the small stuff
“We can get so wrapped up in life’s smaller problems that we can forget to look at the bigger picture. Be kind, help others and have an honest heart.” Hannah, subscriptions