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Your Life is Your Story, Issue #082 – Saved Lives, Changed Lives
October 25, 2010

"Your past is your story up to now. The future is the story yet to come. The present is where you live with that experience, your hopes and your dreams."

Your Life is Your Story Newsletter

October 25, 2010
Issue #082 – Saved Lives, Changed Lives

From Tom Gilbert – Editor and Writer,

In this Issue:

Opening remarks: Tell Me More
Featured Article – Saved Lives, Changed Lives
Resources You Can Use: APH and Veterans History Project

Opening Remarks: Tell Me More

If you get around a good storyteller you will discover they know how to build suspense, make you laugh or maybe even cry, and above all pass along experiences in an entertaining way. Storytellers are important. They are the living historians among us, preserving lives by sharing about our past – and perhaps teaching us a thing or two about the importance of life. As this year’s holidays approach take time to encourage the storytellers in your family to tell you more.

You are receiving this e-zine because you signed up for it or someone who is subscribed passed it along to you. If a friend DID forward this to you consider subscribing by visiting our signup page . Also, let me know what you’d like to see more of in this newsletter – simply reply to this email e-zine.

While the main focus of this newsletter is to share thoughts, ideas, and insights on life story writing you should know that I offer various services and also mention some products and services that can be helpful. You are under no obligation to purchase anything, but if any of these products or services are helpful and you decide to utilize them then I am most grateful.

Thanks for reading. – Tom

Featured Article: Saved Lives, Changed Lives

By Tom Gilbert - Copyright © October, 2010

The world watched and held its collective breath as the drama surrounding the Chilean miners unfolded. Thirty three men were trapped over 2,000 feet underground when a cave-in occurred on August 5. A second cave-in blocked rescue workers and no one even knew the men were alive until August 22 when a drill reached them and they were able to tie a note to it saying, “The 33 of us in the shelter are well.”

These men had to band together as brothers to share their limited supplies and survive until a rescue capsule designed by NASA was used to bring them, one by one, safely to the surface. After drilling down to the men’s location the rescuers then worked to widen the escape shaft, but it was still a tight fit in the capsule, the space a mere 23 inches in diameter.

Many of us cheered when the miners were rescued. It was an accomplishment of human effort, ingenuity and especially a triumph of the human spirit. It is rare these days to have a global media story with such a positive ending.

The shift foreman, Luis Urzua, spoke for the entire group upon their rescue. "A shift of 70 days, that's a long shift," Urzua joked, hugging rescuers. "We have done what the entire world was waiting for," he said, turning serious. "The 70 days that we fought so hard were not in vain. We had strength, we had spirit. We wanted to fight, we wanted to fight for our families and that was the greatest thing." (story at AOL News)

Nevertheless, the miners have to deal with the reality of finding new jobs and dealing with their newfound celebrity status. Their privacy will be invaded as they resume lives under the harsh glare of the media spotlight. The mine is now bankrupt and although the survivors each should collect about $12,000 in donations there is uncertainty for the future. Some of them are dealing with the drama of strained relationships. One of the men, Johnny Barrios, had both his wife and the world discover he had a mistress. It cannot be easy to suddenly have such secrets become very public.

Being rescued from situations where you are staring at impending death is dramatic. Beyond the drama is the search for what life means. One’s perspective can become radically realigned after such a brush with mortality.

How will these men deal with their future? Reportedly they agreed to a pact of silence for a certain period of time and it is predictable that a book and movie deal will eventually transpire. But what about their personal lives, their happiness, purpose and spirituality? It is likely these men will never be the same; saved lives are changed lives.

Your life changing event is worth considering, and possibly preserving in the form of a book or life story. Think about what has happened to you and how it affects your beliefs, values and outlook. Some people have dealt with great suffering or tragedy. Others have overcome incredible odds to be successful. There are physical, emotional and spiritual considerations to your story. I believe that one of the greatest motivations for your memoir is to share what your life changing event means to you. Your story is part of the world’s collective history and your insight can have benefit for others who will learn about your personal history and then consider their own lives and stories.

You can read other articles on life-story writing here.

Resources You Can Use

Saluting the Association of Personal Historians

APH – the Association of Personal Historians – is a growing International group of professionals dedicated to preserving the lives and stories of people. They work as writers, researchers, video biographers, transcribers, consultants, teachers and story collectors and they are an incredibly talented, dedicated and diverse group. I’ve been a member since 2003 and I highly recommend you find out more here. You can search for someone to help you tell your story, or you might decide that you, too, are called to this work. You may even decide to become a member of the APH. If you do be sure to mention that Tom Gilbert recommended it!

Veterans History Project

Our veterans deserve gratitude for their service. They also may have important experiences to share with us. Their time in the military, especially dealing with the many challenges of conflict and battle, have shaped them and impacted them deeply. The horrors of war are well known; the lessons of how to survive and help promote peace are important to our future and our welfare. The Veterans History Project is an ongoing effort by citizens, the US government, and personal historians to preserve our veterans’ valuable stories. As Veterans Day approaches consider how you might get involved and help preserve the valuable history of our men and women in uniform. Read more here.

Closing Information

That’s it for this month’s issue. Thanks for reading. Be sure to visit our blog regularly, and here’s to telling your story. Do give it some serious consideration because I just know you’ve got a great story to tell! Be sure to see the Get Started section.

Any comments, ideas or feedback is greatly appreciated. Just reply to this ‘zine and tell me what you think!

Until next time, – keep your story alive!

Tom Gilbert

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