I grew up in New Zealand and when we were kids we used to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night with a huge bonfire and the usual array of fireworks. What I remember most though, is that after the excitement of the fireworks display was over, all the children gathered around the fire with hot mugs of cocoa and listened to stories told to us by the adults. And during the years since, whether in the outback of Australia, the Sahara Desert, or in the remote Scottish Highlands, there have been many times when people’s stories have held me spellbound.
As human beings, we are fascinated by other people’s lives, as evidenced by all the reality television shows and racks full of “tell-all” magazines. Clearly, as the result of their life experiences, relationships with others and the world around them, everyone has their own unique story to tell. And it is by sharing those personal stories that we enrich the lives of others, who can often relate to our triumphs, struggles and difficulties.
How many times have you heard people say: “I wish I’d remembered to ask my grandmother more about her life” or “I wonder what life was like for my grandparents when they first arrived in Australia?”
Imagine the 95 year-old who rode to school in a horse and buggy, experienced the first electric light and lived through two World Wars. There is so much valuable personal history woven into long and eventful lives which should be shared and cherished by other family members. And we all want to be remembered, both for the good we’ve done and for the significant accomplishments in our lives.
There is satisfaction in a life well-lived – and remembered.
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