I am an extroverted sensor, meaning I get my energy and information from the external versus the internal world. In other words, I notice things. This week was no exception. Something on TV asked, “What books do you have and use most in your home: A Bible, cookbook, or dictionary?”
There was a feature on CBS Sunday Morning about a three-generation family who lost their pristine reputation because of a “he said—they said” conflict. There was another feature about obituary writers, and what a significant craft it is to tell the highs and lows of a person’s life.
I then went to two movies: “Harriet” and “Judy.” After “Harriet,” something happened I had never experienced; the silent theater broke into applause. The man next to me, a man I didn’t know and hadn’t spoken to, said, “You women don’t get the credit you deserve.” The historical movie left me feeling gut inspired.
“Judy,” on the other hand, was a depressing story about Judy Garland, a gifted woman who died at 47 from the illness of addiction. The movie closed with a quote from the Wizard of Oz: “A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.”
What do these examples have in common? They help me think about how our choices define our lives. They help me answer, “Who am I?” It’s a big question, and the answer is individual and personal. Nobody can accurately answer the question for me, or for you.
I am a proponent of writing our own stories. Every person has thousands of stories. Every day is a story. Maybe you or I didn’t lead 750 slaves to freedom, like Harriet Tubman, or star in an iconic movie, but like those who came before us, we have contributed, and we have all have passions.
Who better knows what we value, or what lights our days? Nobody. If we don’t write our stories, who will? The saddest funeral I ever attended was that of my step-dad. I had written a poem about him as his Christmas gift, and that eight-by-ten framed poem with his photograph in the upper left corner was on a floor easel by his casket. His family did not write a eulogy. One small paragraph in the Denver Post, stated his name, DOB, and DOD, and that he collected tokens. That was it. There was no history, story, or applause. It left me empty.
How about you? What if your story, obituary or newspaper headline, titled: ____________, (put your name on the line) was on the big screen? What would you want it to show? Write it down. You are the expert—the most qualified author to write your story. Your story from your point-of-view—priceless.
I’d bet your story is inspiring, entertaining, and unique, and, I, for one, would applaud.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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