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Offered by: John Wilson, B.S., BC-HIS – Blue Ribbon Hearing & Tinnitus Center

We enjoy freedom and independence today because of what was done by others in the past. What we have today is the result of the hard work and sacrifice of others. The knowledge and wisdom we have today is due to the collective experience of others passed onto us.

Nearly 75 years ago, my wife’s grandfather was storming the beach at Normandy. His photograph was taken by a reporter shortly before he stepped on a land mine. Unlike so many who were with him there that day, he survived, although with only one leg for the better part or the rest of his life, and later with no legs. His attitude of no excuses regardless of circumstance was passed on to his children and grandchildren, and my wife is passing it on to our children today.

For many years, he would visit schools and share stories of his experience of D-Day. He passed away before I met my wife, but I have seen video of the interviews he did on the local news while he was still alive. My life has been touched by the experiences of a man I never met because his influence is felt in my home on a daily basis. As a wise and experienced man, he communicated with his family and passed on a legacy of determination and hard work, because of the connection he had with his children and grandchildren.

The success of our community and future generations will be built on the shoulders of past generations, from knowledge and experience gained over long periods of time. Time that included hardships and successes. So much of the knowledge and wisdom we need is found in the experience of our elders. That information can only be passed on if the rising generation is connected with those with experience. History must be passed on.

While some history can be read about or watched, there is nothing greater than being tutored by someone who was there. One individual communicating their experiences to another is memorable and powerful. Such communication is a two-way process. Barriers make communicating difficult, if not impossible. Hearing loss is a major barrier to general communication and meaningful relationships.

Hearing loss creates real seen and unseen barriers. Breaking down those barriers for husbands and wives, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren will strengthen families and ultimately our communities. Treating hearing loss, no matter how mild or severe, sooner rather than later, allows for opportunities for greater bonding and stronger relationships. Preserving and enhancing hearing provides for greater freedom and independence now, and in the future, and removes barriers for passing on information that will strengthen future generations. Wisdom and knowledge communicated from parents and grandparents to children and grandchildren is a key to future success, freedom and independence in all aspects of life.

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