“I am happy to say all of them are kind. It’s very important to me that people are kind.” – Maya Angelou
I judge my stories as “good” when they have a reader. It moves to “better” when the story affects someone, then all the way to “best” when a reader takes action and creates their own story.
My 16 year-old grandson asked me about a story. I was glad he’d read it. That made it a “good” story for me.
Later, my daughter showed me the paper he wrote for his high school English class. The class had been asked to use an old family story as background for a story of their own.
He took my 70 year-old experience and moved it into his life. Then he pondered what it meant and how it would shape the stories he would tell his grandchildren.
The story was about Jackie Robinson, the first Negro (yes, that’s the word we used) to play major league baseball. It explained my surprise in learning about his struggles, along with my experiencing the pain of fellow fans in his first appearance on “our” field. With the paper, he also created a drawing (above) he entitled “My grandfather stood, watched, and remembered.”
Kenny’s story picks up in seeing the first black man elected President of the United States. My grandson was, “… Not sure whether to be proud or to feel ashamed how it took my country so long to overcome this obstacle.” Adding, “Race is an issue so complex that it cannot possibly be solved overnight.”
“My last reflective thought on this experience was wondering what stories, if any, I will be able to tell my grandchildren the way my grandfather has told me. Have I witnessed any events but not appreciated the historical ramifications of the experience?”
“I can thank my grandfather for sharing with me a story that will forever cause me to question the history that is unfolding before my eyes.”
Yes, history does unfold everyday Kenny. “Look up, look down, look all around,” as my friend told her students.
Thanks for reading my story Kenny, and for sharing yours. Plus an even bigger thank you for your curiosity. Your grandchildren will love each of your stories.
How have your stories been used by your children or grandchildren? Is it curiosity that leads to creativity? I think so. I think those two words are the separate sides of the same artistic coin.
How do you feel about curiosity and creativity?
Can you share how you, “Look up, look down, look all around.”
As always, the conversation starts here.
“In the ordinary choices of every day we begin to change the direction of our lives.” – Eknath Easwaran
The Suzuki Elders are an association of self-identified elders. They share their voices, experiences and memories to motivate, mentor and support fellow elders and younger generations in dialogue.
This video helps me understand the value of storytelling, see if it helps you.