I had the pleasure of spending some time at the hospital today visiting a friend who is in her 80's. Fortunately, she is very sharp of mind and spirit and I don't think I have ever seen her without a twinkle in her eye - today was no exception. The experience however, got me thinking about the stories that are never heard.
In an unrelated event, I was giving a talk to a group of seniors at one of our local library branches and was saddened by a comment of one of the participants. A man about the same age as my hospitalized friend lamented that nobody was interested in his stories about his life and so, what was the point of writing about it? The lovely lady in the hospital is dearly loved by her family and she revels in and shares that love far and wide and along with it go stories about some of her experiences that endears her to people from every walk of life.
And, isn't that what history is all about - the stories. I know that tracing family lineage is very popular so that we can see who we are related to and there seems to be an emphasis on being related to someone famous, or infamous. But, I wonder if the real history of our lives is in the experiences, feelings, wins and losses of our everyday lives. I wonder if that is where the lessons lie. What a shame it will be for future generations not to know who we are, what we felt, what we dream about, aspire to, hope for, attain, lose and regain.
It may not be our job or responsibility to force earlier generations to record their lives but perhaps we can take on a project like that for ourselves and make it possible for those family members who follow to know a little of who we really were.