“Read me a story.”
More than anything, my life has been marked by stories, either reading them or writing them.
Some of my earliest memories with my dad are of listening to him read the Sunday comics to me after church. I would sit on his lap and he’d let me pick the comics for him to read while Mom finished preparing our dinner. I remember Mom snuggled next to me, reading a book to me before nap time. When I was older, I’d lay on the living room sofa with my nose in a biography for hours on hot summer days or long winter Friday nights. I was as much fascinated by the person’s story as by how the writer told it.
As a writer, I use my words to give people a different perspective on a situation or even, on a neighbor. Early in my career I was editor of a small town newspaper. Most weeks we included a feature story about one of the area’s citizens. “You write what people want others to know about them,” someone said to me. I took it as praise; far higher praise than I knew was intended. As any one who has lived in a small town knows, the smaller the town, the faster familiarity in-breeds contempt. I loved telling those stories because I knew that at least for a moment, my stories reminded neighbors of the goodness in others.
Our own story deserves to be told and we owe it to ourselves to learn the stories of our ancestors and to share those with our children and grandchildren. By telling our story, we understand ourselves better and others understand us better as well. The more we know about where we came from and the people who have shaped us, the more we appreciate our own wonderful and unique selves.
This post is part of ‘5 Minute Friday’ – today, on the theme: Story