In recent years the fine jewelry industry has coined the term “Modern Heirloom” which is an affectionate reference for a redesign of a family piece of jewelry. In other words, the ring grandma gave you now sits and gathers dust in a jewelry box because it doesn’t match your style. A modern heirloom is the result of transforming that dusty ring, using the original diamonds, gemstones, even gold, into something new that perfectly fits your style.
While such importance is placed on these items passed down to the next generation, I find it fascinating that the sentiment does not translate to our society as a whole. The Baby Boomer Generation (born between 1946 and 1964) has become an object of mockery with the latest memes, “Ok Boomer.” Apparently the term “respect your elders” has been thrown out; but at what cost?
I am lucky to work side-by-side with my father, Lenny, who built this business from the ground up. He’s an incredible businessman and our company wouldn’t be where it is today without his attention to detail and love and care for our customers. I have tremendous respect for him in many ways. I wonder, has this honor and respect diminished as family businesses are on the decline? Back in the day having a multitude of children was not just a joy, but a necessity; you needed the extra hands to tend to the family business. Family members worked together towards a common goal. Today we are encouraged to “flee the nest” once we hit a certain age. The family unit has been completely revolutionized over the past several decades. Change is inevitable, but there is always something essential to learn from our past. I love visiting with the elderly community and hearing stories from yesteryear. A lot can be learned in these short exchanges. While my family often keeps quiet about our charitable efforts, this one is worth mentioning. We support the Seven Acres Nursing Home, a retirement home in our community. This facility has played a special part in my life. I remember visiting as an elementary school student to play bingo, checkers, or just chat with the residents. Years later it eventually would become a home to all four of my grandparents and my aunt. For the majority of my young adult life, I have fond memories of my visits.
What does a life worth living look like to you? Who are the elders in your family? Have you paid them a visit lately? Given them a call? I encourage all of you to take a moment to pause and think about how you can learn to mix modern ideologies with older ones. How can you respect your elders and enjoy the colloquialisms of 2020?
I think laughter is the best medicine. “Ok Boomer” looks like it’s here to stay, but I do hope while you’re laughing you’re also taking it with a grain of salt. What does the previous generation have to teach you? What can their years of experiential wisdom do to benefit your journey? And perhaps it’s even worth it to revisit that old jewelry box collecting dust in the closet. You truly never know what kind of "gem" you'll discover.