Story and Why
"Your Life is Your Story" Blog Archives
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Prepare, Look and Leap
February 29, 2012
Today is Leap Day,
that only happens every four years. In a leap year we add a day to the
end of February and have 366 days in the calendar year. The idea was
originally introduced over 2000 years ago, which makes it 500 leap
years ago. Julius Caesar is responsible for the Julian Calendar in 45
B.C.E. There are all kinds of traditions associated with Leap Day and
you can read about it here.
I looked back four years ago to something I wrote for this website and
it seemed appropriate to recycle it for today. The article, Preparing
Your Story, is intended to help you reflect on your journey, determine
what your story will be, your motivation, how you will tell it and some
other helpful tips. I invite you to read it and
hopefully it will help
you prepare your story.
History Stories and Personal Experience
February 18, 2012
History is really just a collection of preserved of stories. Events of
national importance are recorded much the same way as those significant
events in your personal/family history. First the event happens. Those
affected share the stories of their experiences. Interested parties
record those events. And they get passed down, entered into the annals
of our human experience.
That's a bit of an over-simplification, but there is plenty of truth in
it. Nowadays with the various means of global and instant communication
events are preserved more easily. What will stand the test of time?
200 years ago the United States and Britain fought a war. It had been
just a few years since the American Revolution when independence was
declared and the new citizens fought for their freedom. That historical
event, and those in the twenty years following, didn't exist isolated
from the rest of the world. Europe was in upheaval. Napoleon was
conquering and France was vying for world power status with the British
Empire. Young America got caught in the middle.
Many events and circumstances contributed to the War of 1812.
To simplify it to a conflict with England and the United States is
incorrect. Native Americans wanted to protect their lands.
Americans were agressive in westward expansion. The British and French
on the high seas were boarding American vessels in search of fellow
countrymen and often the line for that was blurred. Sailors were
impressed into service. America also was trading with both countries
and soon was caught in the middle.
My 8th Grade Social Studies students this year wrote essays they
entered into the annual Daughters
of the American Revolution Essay Contest. The DAR
is an historical organizaton that does much to preserve and promote
history. Today three of my students were honored at the local Lew
Wallace Chapter of the DAR for their essay contributions. The theme was
"Young America Takes a Stand - The War of 1812". I was a very proud
teacher listening to Jacob, Isaac and Chris each read their excellent
and creative essays. They had put themselves back in time and written
riveting narratives about events like the naval battles involving
American heroes Captain James Lawrence ("Don't
give up the ship!") and Oliver Hazard Perry ("We have met
the enemy and they are ours"). These students had the top three essays
in our local competition.
How do we learn about and appreciate history? Through events like the
DAR essay contests, the sharing of history beyond a textbook, the
gathering of people who honor our past and the ongoing telling of stories.
Sharing Your Experience When a Loved One Passes
February 13, 2012
We all know that dealing with the death of a loved one is a major
event. Sometimes it is beautiful and holy, at other times tragic. I
ache to hear the stories of young children dying or sudden death
through accidents. And the pain of losing one to suicide is one I
shudder to imagine.
My father passed away about a month ago and I've written about that (here).
The memories are still fresh. The condolences are appreciated. And the
survivors (especially my sister, brother and I) have grown much closer
I added a place for you to share your experience when a loved one
passes. It is at the end of the article I wrote about my dad - The Pilot Who Flew on Eagle's
Scroll to the bottom and you will see a form that allows you to share
your stories. The community of story sharing can be carthartic - and
helpful to others who are seeking solace.
About Your Spiritual Journey - And For a Good Cause
February 9, 2012
I've always been interested in people's spiritual journeys. In fact, I
don't really like it when people separate out their spiritual journey
from their "real" life. To me everything has a spiritual component.
Spirituality is the underlying meaning for who we are and why.
Everyone has a story and everyone's story naturally includes something
spiritual. I'm not saying you have to be religious for this to be true.
However, it certainly can help you get in touch with this deeper
meaning and purpose to living.
Musician, writer, speaker and artist John Fischer has
something going on of late in this area. His regular email
missives, The Catch
(connecting life to faith) have been dealing with people's stories.
I've been a follower of his writing for a while now, more because of
his spiritual insight. But as he's moved into this "life as story"
angle I've really perked up.
He and his wife, Marti, have been helping the women of Isaiah House
discover their value and worth through the telling of their stories. I
thought you might want to find out more. Visit here. (you should check out
the three posts - Lights; On camera; Your new vocation)
Telling To Connect Us on the Web
February 6, 2012
One of the things I dislike about social media is that many of the
postings lack substance. I guess it is fine to let people know where
you've just checked in to, but I would prefer to know that it is
something significant (great concert or family reunion rather than a
drive-through for a burger).
Story tellers should give us tales that we relate to and think about. I
want to know about the humanity of the people posting stories on the
web. And some sites are starting to really address this. One in
is picking up steam. They have submission with pictures and lots of
heart. There's a good article about them from a few weeks ago posted to
the Wall Street Journal
- Can We Humanize the Web?
February 5, 2012
Sure this was Super Bowl weekend and I just finished watching a pretty
exciting game that went down to the wire with the New York Giants
holding off the New England Patriots, 21-17. It's the second time in
four years that these teams played in the Big Game and the 2nd time the
However, the theme of "two" I
am celebrating is that of my adorable
grandson, Jacob Ray. He turned 2 on Friday and we had a fun family and
friends party on Saturday. Small children can be loud, silly, funny,
precious and lots of work. But it is such a wonderful thing to be a
grandparent and watch this young one exploring his ever-new world.
Jacob is starting to talk and he's very curious about life. Good times!
What's big in your life? The Super Bowl? A thrilling vacation? A
spiritual awakening? A growing family? Life is full of wonderful and
amazing experiences. It is good to enjoy a grandson, especially in
these recent days since my dad passed away. I'm reminded how special
bookends of life (young and old) and the sweet moment-to-moment