Story and Why
How to Tell
An article by Tom Gilbert
- copyright © June 13, 2016
In light of the events that have happened over the past few years, most
vividly demonstrated by the shootings and killings of 50 people at an
Orlando nightclub on June 12, I find it more and more important that we
have what I would call life vigilance. We must consider the importance
of recognizing how each day we have is special - perhaps even our last
I don't go through life in a constant state of fear about personal
safety. And I don't normally think about the end of life. However, I am
finding this year more of an awareness that we are not guaranteed any
particular number of days. We get what we get. So it is best to live
one day at a time. And to be vigilant, to be aware, to be grateful that
we have life today.
Let's face it - a lot of us go through our days with
a certain sense of entitlement. We take for granted that we have a
home, a bed, food and the basic necessities for living.
is not the reality for everyone. Many people are dealing with daily
struggles. Some are hungry. Some are poor. Some are suffering from
illness. Some are alienated from friends and family. Some are
Some are victims of random and sudden acts of violence.
Because we have no guarantee for our life
expectancy, it follows that we should take the opportunity every day to
stay connected to others. How do we treat others? Don't let a day go by
without telling people that they matter to you. Telling your family and
friends you love them not only encourages them, it is good for your own
One of the great lessons passed on to me is that life is not about you
- you are about life!
is vitally important to remember that your life matters. And so does
the life of every other person on the planet. Even the ones who are
committing criminal acts and taking the lives of others or
endangering lives. That can be hard to accept, but until we understand
and appreciate that all life is sacred we will harbor an attitude that
some people are more important than others. Certainly some people are
doing more with their lives than others, but all lives matter.
That being said, you should have a healthy appreciation for your life.
Your life matters. With that understanding comes the responsibility to
do something with your life. Every day we have an opportunity to do
something to make the world we live in a better place.
Share Your Story
can all help by sharing our experience, strength and hope. I believe a
of preserving our life stories is to help others better understand our
journeys and to learn from each other. I am not a fan of sharing
stories that are about revenge, or getting even. On the other hand, I
am a raving fan of the stories that connect us to our shared humanity,
that show us that love, kindness and compassion are virtues worth
preserving. We need to pass on these life lessons.
Feel, Deal and
do what we can to bring light into the darkness. Love and tolerance of
others is a good code to live by. You don't have to agree with
everyone. You don't have to approve of things that are wrong. But we do
need to accept the reality of our lives and we can do something to
bring about change that makes things better.
Connecting our stories to the events that happen in our world helps
others recognize that we are in a shared community. I wrote about that
in the article, Your
Memoir and the Larger World.
Some powerful stories about people who have dealt
with gun violence in their lives are included in this
episode of PEACE
TALKS RADIO. In the aftermath of yet another
mass killing by a gunmen, I recommend listening to the program.
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Everybody has a story to tell!
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