The dystopian side of me always looks for help from my hopeful side: One part of a full life might just be the old things and old skills that don’t seem to have a place in today’s world. You may have plenty of both!
Your home may be the safe haven for outmoded stuff that seems to have only nostalgic value. For example, your written family history, high school slide rule, typewriter, cast iron skillet, writing paper and envelopes, encyclopedias, hand tools, Bibles, love letters or single-edge razors.
Before you start loading up a dumpster, imagine situations in which these items could resume their usefulness. For example, the love letters could be helpful for a great-grandchild having marital problems; the tools might be important in places where new skilled workers are beginning their trades. The slide rule could be critical for checking data when computers are not operational. Whether in an imagined dystopia or utopia, there may be utility for these seemingly antiquated things.
Your life skills will also remain valuable. Basic competencies—e.g, how to cook from scratch, preserve food, repair things, inspire others in a conversation or engage the natural world with awe–might be in short supply in the future. Those who still possess those kinds of practical knowledge could be highly regarded as essential teachers, mentors or leaders.
Your possessions and skills are still precious gifts, given to you by God and honed by your years of use. One of the most loving parts of your legacy could be these precious items from the past, these time-honored skills that you share with others. By holding onto what’s old, you could help bring fullness to the future. Perhaps you could be part of God’s continually making all things new!
You could even add hope to dystopias….
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