The Human Times Magazine
An 11-Year-Old Girl Opens a Museum in the Memory of Her Grandfather
Katarzyna Marczyk Human Stories Correspondent
Fri 12 September 2070 05.00 BST
It has been 10 years since scientists identified the reason for a significant decrease in fertility, as well as a massive increase in prostate and breast cancer. Despite efforts for finding a solution, Xenoestrogens – environmental chemicals that mimic female estrogens – are still present everywhere from water, food, plastics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, to industrial chemicals, and beyond.
To limit the exposure to the chemicals, people changed their lives completely – moved away from polluted cities, work from home, limited their consumption, switched to natural cosmetics and medicines, learned to do things by hand, and stopped using fertilisers as well as detergents. Yet, this lifestyle change has been followed by another momentous shift – the shift towards value-driven society.
Now that cancer is taking our relatives one by one and the adverse effects of xenoestrogens on fertility made having children close to impossible – we finally realised how important family is. For the first time in history, men and women around the world equally adjust their careers to family life as well as equally contribute to unpaid care work and housework – not because they should, but because they want to. The research from the Ministry of Values shows that masculinity is now associated with care while femininity is a symbol of strength – after all, there is nothing braver than keeping on trying to have a baby after years of effort and series of miscarriages. Interestingly enough, the word “family” extended its meaning – because we do not have many living relatives we now consider close friends and neighbours to be our family members as well.
With funerals more frequent than ever, the threat became real. Not knowing how much time we have left, we started to question what is important to us, pursue only what matters, and accept everyone’s right to live as they want. But how do we pass down the value-driven lifestyle towards the next generation? A grandfather from Poland found a beautiful way of teaching that to his granddaughter – a handmade box made to help her realise and remember what matters.
The instructions were simple – write down on pieces of paper what matters to you, put it in the box, and have it always near you, so that you remember what is truly important. Yet, the granddaughter went a step further – after her grandfather passed away from cancer, she made a video in his memory, in which she asked her loved ones what matters to them.
The video went viral and the question she raised at the end prompted a conversation about our values. People started to make their own boxes and post photos of their contents on social media. Together with her dad, the granddaughter created an online museum that virtually collects and exhibits inventories of boxes from people all around the world.
The museum is a tribute for the girl’s grandfather, who with the genuine act of making a wooden box, taught her and thousands of people the value of realising what matters.