As we transition through the phases of life, from infant to teen to adult to elder, we seek both independence and interdependence. At times we direct our own journey, and at other times we can only respond to circumstances beyond our control. In moments of reflection in the later stages of life, we can revisit our experiences with success, challenge, relationship, loss, accomplishment. These many chapters contribute to and ultimately create our life’s story. Such stories are seldom written down in novels or textbooks, or shared on the big screen. These precious stories are often held onto and gifted only in those moments of authentic relationship building.
How can generations connect through stories of such varied lived experiences? In what ways can I be more intentional in passing of time together? What do we risk losing along with those stories that remain untold? Come to connect as a community and share your thoughts and ideas.
The stimulus for this conversation will be Shelley Muneoka’s piece in Values of Hawai’i 3: Hulihia, Wednesdays with Grandma. Below is an excerpt from her essay to help frame the conversation:
The shared history, present, and future of family members or long-time friends change the quality of interactions, adding a natural relevance and meaning to stories… If we want to avoid hitting the reset with each and every generation, we need to intentionally spend intergenerational time together, to learn about our pasts, present, and futures. We need to hear not just the facts and figures, but the feelings and philosophies.
Shelley Muneoka is a kanaka maoli woman born and raised in Heʻeia Uli, in Koʻolaupoko, Oʻahu. Shelley works at Hā Kūpuna: The National Resource Center for Native Hawaiian Elders, and continues to share meals and moʻolelo each week with her grandma.
To access Wednesdays with Grandma, visit https://bit.ly/3uRJIwK
To view and download the complete Values of Hawai’i 3: Hulihia anthology, visit https://bit.ly/38jspuL