Story and Why
"Your Life is Your Story" Blog Archives
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War Memorials Revisited
May 28, 2018
Today is the Memorial Day Holiday
in the United States. Originally started to honor fallen soldiers of
the Civil War, it is now a day to remember all those who have served in
the military and gave their lives fighting against tyranny and to
keep our freedoms.
A couple of years ago I wrote an article about war memorials. There
are many war memorials in the United States. A few, such as the Vietnam Wall, are in Washington D.C. On the National Mall you
can find the World War II Memorial and the Korean War Veterans
Memorial. In New Mexico where I live there is a Memorial Park in
Albuquerque and also a very impressive Vietnam Vets Memorial and Chapel
in Angel Fire.
are created to help us remember. They are visible testimonials. When we
reflect on the lives of people killed in war it is important to
recognize the importance of service. Perhaps someday wars will end and
we will have lasting peace. So many men and women have given their
lives in pursuit of this, to fight to keep us free. The average life
expectancy these days is around 80 years. Not so for many soldiers who
died in the prime of their lives. Warriors have to be prepared to die
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Brennan Manning and Finding Grace Through Darkness
May 23, 2018
A quote from Brennan Manning
that I posted in 2010 popped up on my Facebook account today. You know
how you get reminded of things you previously posted? Well this
particular quote is a powerful one, and it reminded me that through
many troubled travels we often find grace and light that make life
deeper and more meaningful that we'd previously known.
The quote was: "To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light
side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what
God's grace means."
Manning certainly knew what he was talking about. Many people have
found great spiritual solace and insight from the "Ragamuffin Gospel"
message he shared with so many. Despite his difficult battles with his
alcoholism he kept a kind and compassionate heart, especially for the
poor and lonely.
I read his memoir, All Is Grace,
a few years ago, and it really moved me. What Manning reminds us is
that we are going to have hard times, just as we will have good times
in life. And all of it is important. If we can embrace the journey and
be grateful and grow from it, even better, share it with others, we
then help other people on their life journey.
British Royals and American Fascination
May 16, 2018
Americans love celebrities and it seems we ratch it up another notch
when it comes to the British Royal Family. Americans are fascinated
with them, especially the younger ones as they get married and have
The royal wedding for Meghan and Harry is Saturday, May 19, and some
people will be up at three or four in the morning to watch the event
live on TV, or the "telly" as the Brits call it.
So what's the big deal? I am not enamored with it all, but I admit to
sort of following the news. So I decided to search on the
Internet about this fascination and Google included a link to a
post on StudyBreaks, 8 Reasons Why Americans Are Obsessed With The British Royal Family.
Some of the reasons make sense to me, such as the royals are a bit like
a real-life fairytale, the human element, how we've watched them grow
up over the years, and all the history between America and England.
Of course, the fact that Meghan Markle, the bride-to-be, happens to be
an American contributes to the fascination. Are you planning on
watching the wedding? If so, will you be writing about it, perhaps in
your journal or diary? Maybe it will be part of a memoir and give
future generations insight into what you thought was such big celebrity
Humans of (insert city here) are Telling Their Stories
May 8, 2018
I've been following Humans of New Mexico
on my Facebook feed. I live in "The Land of Enchantment" and the
stories of people here are interesting to me. The group has a purpose
of collecting and sharing the oral histories of everyday New Mexicans.
Since I like the phrase everybody has a story this is something I can certainly appreciate and promote.
New Mexicans are a diverse bunch. New Mexico did not achieve statehood
until 1912, but it was a U.S. Territory for a long time. Previous to
that it was part of New Spain. Residents of the state come from that
rich heritage, along with Native Americans (quite a few different and
fascinating pueblos), immigrants, and an assortment of transplants from
other states (like me).
There is also an interesting part of the Old West that makes up our
state's legacy. Think ranchhands, cattle rustlers, dancehall divas and
gunslingers. Tradition has it Billy the Kid died in New Mexico, but not
before making his mark.
I think Humans of New York was the first "Humans of" group. It is a pretty fascinating photoblog and collection of stories gathered from many interviews.
The idea of capturing life stories from everyday people through oral
history and photographs is one excellent way to preserve people's
personal history. I like to craft longer narratives, but the shorter
oral format works well, especially in this day and age when not a lot
of people pick up a book (sad to say).
If you haven't already checked out some of the stories found on HONY or
HONM and other similar sites, please do. These are powerful platforms
to learn about our fellow humans.