Stories, Stories Everywhere

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Stories are everywhere. Everyone has a unique story that captures their own experiences. It could be tragic, exciting, or anything in between.

Often you read about the most famous people in history or current notable figures. They have vast amounts of information as demonstrated by the lengths of their Wikipedia articles. 

But when you start to hear the stories of everyday people, you realize that everyone has a unique and interesting story. While they may not be famous, everyone around you has a story of the unique experiences of their life.

It could be a family member, a friend, a neighbor. It could be the person in front of you at the grocery store checkout, or the teenager behind the counter. Everyone has a story–including the mailman who delivers your mail, the woman walking her dog who passes by your house, or the person who cut you off in traffic when you were late for a meeting. 

This week’s featured article focuses on the 40th anniversary of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. When you support one of their many funds, you are supporting the community, but all those funds didn’t just appear out of nowhere. These were the result of some sort of story, the story of someone’s life or the story of the group of people’s lives or experiences, that came together to give back to the community in a more meaningful way.

When you read this week’s issue and the cover story, and then go out into the community and see an event or fundraiser put on by an organization, which may involve the Community Foundation, look at the name of the funds. Look at the names of these many scholarships you often hear about.

It’s not just about the name of a person or group on a check, a plaque, or a building; there is always some story behind it. Find the story behind those. And it’s not just those stories; there are so many other stories out there. A lot of times, all you need to do is ask, and people will share.

As a genealogist, I search for more than just the basic information of my ancestors and relatives, the so-called “names and dates.” When a person dies, their gravestone will be marked with a birth date and a death date. Between those two dates, is a hyphen. That’s where the story is. Find the story behind the hyphen.

Everyone has a hyphen. If you are reading this, you have a hyphen. The only difference between those of us living and those who have passed, is that the date on the right side of the hyphen has not been established. 

Stories are all around us, but there is one story that you have complete control over­­—your own. What is in your hyphen? What more do you want to add to your own hyphen?

Enjoy the read.