STORIES HELP US ACHIEVE THE WORTHWHILESep 18th, 2013 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog
Seniors Tell Their Stories
Conversations have a way of moving in undesirable directions. Past the question of “how are you,” there can emerge a series of topics that leave the conversationalist at a loss for how to get out of it. Ironically each of us has his/her own story. The miracle of the Internet is that seniors can read and hear and savor all the wonderfully moving stories that are out there. I just completed reading one in the New York Times. There is a plethora of inspiration out there and an amazing number of articulate story tellers who have found the courage to tell their stories.
In the haste of our rush from one day to the next, from one catastrophe to the next, we may be missing some of the best stories enabling us to understand and empathize with the human condition. Overwhelmingly, we find that there are more than enough tragedies to count, more than a month’s supply of disasters in one day. And, the stories are a way to recovery, to redemption, to coming to terms with the utterly shocking experiences of life these days.
You may want to change the subject. You may want to beg not to have to be faced with all of the agony and pain and hurt and sheer hopelessness that comes the way of a flood, or a plane crash, or children dying by the dozens in some distant land. But, turning one’s back is no way to deal with the struggles of others. Sharing the stress of those whose lives have been ripped from under them, is only one of the ways we can become one with those whose coping needs the presence of compassion.
As we weave our way through today’s accounts of real human heartache, we discover our own real life dramas. They are not to be taken lightly. They are us. They are our friends and neighbors. They are the stuff of existence. We need to listen, and hear, these stories. They are never boring. They never lack a moral. They are deeply and profoundly expressive of the human condition and just how much struggle each of us has known.
Opening oneself to the stories that surround us, we begin to find the revelation of others becomes the release our own hearts’ need. Our stories are painful. Another’s may be more so. Connecting those stories brings out the humanness of each and all of us.
There is nothing trivial about these stories. They are magic, carrying with them the formula for living that emerges as the story is told and heard. Discovering the willingness of a friend who is open to hearing a story, is one of the gifts of our finding how to get through the story that is going on right now before our very eyes.