This is the story of your life. You should be writing your life story. Or have someone do it for you. The key is getting help — Your-Life-Your-Story.com is going to help you in writing and preserving your life story.
Do you remember when? The memories and experiences that have shaped your life…Do you realize the great gift you can give…to yourself and your loved ones?
One of the many benefits of telling your story is that you learn more about yourself. The very process requires considering what you believe, what matters most and what the sum of your life experiences has taught you.
Television and movies have perverted and diluted morals to the point that sex, extreme violence, corruption, and getting even, are commonplace events. To add to the mix, murder and mutilation have conditioned the general public each evening. Finally, advertising has reached a ridiculous point that they are more of entertainment value, insulting our common sense, and the product or service they offer is almost secondary. If you think this is not true, watch the ads with the mute on, and observe. It is all glitz, mainly aimed at the youth, and focus groups have forgotten that the baby boomers are purchasers of these same products. Drug side effects are enough to kill you, no thanks. Aging individuals reminisce about the good old days and think fondly of how things were. Homes were left unlocked; people talked to one’s neighbors and offered help when it was needed. This rarely happens now.
As a writer of a product that educates people how to video their life story for family, friends, and future generations, I found people turning their back on such a medium. People are occasionally interested in going to museums and looking at the past but do nothing to preserve the lives of those who contributed to our present. With the death of each person another valuable story is lost to the ages. What we leave behind is a headstone with dates, a short article in the newspaper, or an internet genealogy lookup where we came into the world, where we lived and the place of death. This points to the fact that our aging generation is being forgotten in this fast-paced life. There is nothing wrong with the younger generation, they are our future, and they need to find their direction, value and purpose in life, but this should not be their only mission. They should remember those who loved them through thick and thin. Of course, there are many who remember their parents and bravo for those who demonstrate their care. As for those who are bothered by their aging family members and want to distance themselves from them, they need to reflect that they will be in their shoes someday and who will care for them?
Parents always wanted the best for their kids, that’s the way it was, and is. It is time we all reflect about those who came before us and cared so much. We need to reach out to each other before it is too late. Sharing the history of older ones is an untapped treasure of the goodness and experiences that they could relate. Imagine grandchildren viewing stories of people in their family they will never meet, since they are a part of history now. Take the time to listen to their life’s struggles, their family members, and who influenced their life. You can find out how they met their spouse, raised their children and the changes they experienced in their life. Ask about their hopes and dreams. Show your interest in them and let them know you care. There is so much to experience, be a part of them.
We live in a time when almost everything is disposable, from televisions, automobiles, even buildings. Eventually everything is thrown away and finally recycled, if possible. In many cases things are manufactured to wear out or have lost its usefulness and is tossed away. It is a culture that has gradually worsened over the years. When driving in your car look at our streets and highways, they are filled with disposable litter waiting for collection, and landfills are becoming small mountains. This discussion is not to make people aware of what is disposable, but what is of value, and what should be saved. My point is that a great treasure is being disposed of with fervor. It is a whole generation of people who are aging, and no longer seem to be of value to the younger ones. This system is gradually putting older ones out of work, out touch, and basically ignored. This generation has moved from the family conversation, to shorts bursts of words in a text message, or a picture on a web page with a comment or two. This “get to the point medium” is rapidly replacing the face to face exchange expressions of individual thoughts and creative ideas. As time passes by, if the older ones have not caught up with the sweeping tide of electronic communication, they are put on the curbside like a big box television. This begs the question, when do the young visit their grandparents, and when do the children of parents give them a call or visit to show their love and concern? When do they ask questions about family history gone by, and the roots of their very being? When death knocks at the door for the elderly, they are rarely spoken of again.
In this “busy me first generation”; a great deal of life is centered on monetary gain, social status, along with a smattering of religious training on Sundays. Morals have been sidetracked and have deteriorated to the point where good is bad and bad is good. Violence is found in every corner of life. The forms of entertainment we view, and the news we are bombarded with are reflective of the ways of life we live with. Children’s video games have ratcheted up to new levels of death and destruction. It won’t be long before their fingers will have more strength than their arms.
So please, take the time to learn to video your life history….
We live in a world where heroes are recognized daily for a multitude of reasons. Many kind and dedicated people come to mind. For some individuals an article is written, others have gatherings in their honor, and still others of stature may be on television or featured in a movie describing their exploits and genealogical history. Each day millions of heroes are being overlooked without fanfare or recognition for the lives they are living and the sacrificing they do for others. Who are these forgotten heroes? Let’s focus on those every day people who have lived a full life or those up in years who have contributed to their family and society. But the average person, for the most part, never chronicles the story of their life. They never had an opportunity to tell others what life was like for them; their struggles, their failures, their successes, their hopes, dreams, their desire for the future, and what others meant to them. Families and friends are deprived of stories that would build character and add to the family history. As we age many of our stories fade, and in today’s society few people care about those who paved the road of life for them. We need to stop and smell the roses and take note of the personal heritage that we have. It is time to take a moment and listen to those family members or friends who wish to tell their stories and share a lifetime of experiences. We can learn and grow from the past. Whether we tell our story, write it down, or record it, it helps us get closer to those we care about and love. This life story is a door to the past that may never be open again.
For over thirty-five years I have videotaped life stories. It started as a hobby and expanded to a small business. I even developed the comprehensive DIY resource to video your own life story or the story of others. It is a complete outline of how to create a video life story interview for anyone who possesses a video camera. It offers answers for over one hundred questions and possesses many audio and video techniques. I have given hundreds of CDs to people, and many comment, “I wish I would have done it, they are all gone now.”
How long will the story of mom, dad, grandpa, and grandma be silenced to the ages? In two generations it is as though they never lived, with the exception of an obituary, a family Bible, or a tombstone. Of course, we do not think of ourselves as heroes in the greater sense, but in the eyes of others we may deserve a hero’s story telling. The life story could be a video class project, a family reunion, a video genealogy, or a tribute to an aged one that could ignite a whole new interest in the past. Who will hear this call? Who will hear the forgotten voice in the crowd of life saying on video, “I lived, I existed, I need to share my legacy.” It is my hope for the future that life history video recording centers will spring up across the globe along with catalogues of life stories. I also hope someday that life history video recordings will be in a holographic video format. What a treasure that would be for our future! Whether we admit it or not, at some point we all become a part of the forgotten. Will we preserve the past, learn, and build upon it? Or will those precious life stories fade away like the setting sun?
Here is a helpful list of basic health-related questions we believe one should carry at all times in the event of something happening. For example, if you or a loved one is rendered incapacitated, someone can refer to this list for immediate action. Please print a copy or save a digital version for yourself or to share with your loved ones.
For more forms and in-depth questions, you can purchase a download of My Living Legacy here.
Name (first, middle, last)
See medical directive in wallet (if it applies)
Family / Friend names, addresses, contact numbers, and email addresses in case of emergency:
Anatomical Gift Statement: Upon my death I wish to donate All organs, tissues, or eyes
(Check here)_______ – OR – I refuse to make an anatomical gift (Check here)_______
Resuscitate if possible (Check here)_____ – OR – Do not resuscitate (Check here)_____