REFLECTION: It was exactly one hundred years ago, in 1909, that my grandmother’s cousin, Sever Berg, staked a claim to a quarter of land here in Saskatchewan. Sever later sold NW 17 33 26 W2 to my Norwegian born grandparents, Ole and Ambjorg. They, in turn, sold the home quarter to my parents, Norman and Ruth, who have continued to farm it for well over 50 years.
And so, that is how this very week, my parents have come to be among some 600 Saskatchewan farm families to be honored with the Century Farm designation for stewardship of the same piece of land by members of the same family for one hundred years.
During their time on the farm, Mom and Dad have seen their share of bumper crops and record prices. They’ve also survived blizzards, floods, droughts, grasshoppers, midge, and hail storms that destroy a season’s promise in five minutes flat. But, through it all, they have persevered and prospered. They’ve raised a family, contributed to their community, and helped to feed the world. And even now, they continue to care about the land and its future.
I admire my folks (and all the other families similarly honored) for their commitment, their care, and the legacy they’ve created in their lifetimes. And, I wonder about the much earlier experiences of those who lived and died before you and I came on the scene.
ACTION: With summer upon us, it might be a good time to pause – to step away from our own immediate cares and concerns about getting ahead – to spend a few moments looking back. Where have we come from? How far have we travelled? And what does the journey of those who came before mean to us now?
If you’re looking to see what might be learned by exploring the lives and experiences of those who broke trail for you, I encourage you to check out the example of Story Corps – an organization that is dedicated to honoring and celebrating lives lived by capturing the oral history of our experiences.
Story Corps Mobile Recording Booths are travelling across the USA. In the last six years, some 50,000 individuals have stepped into their recording studios on wheels to interview family and friends. The interviewees receive a free CD of their conversation to take with them, while another copy is archived at the Library of Congress. How cool a project is that?
For those of us, who aren’t in the vicinity of the booths, Story Corps provides info on-line about how to go about conducting and recording your own interviews with those who matter in your life. See this link for a set of questions to get the conversation started: http://www.storycorps.org/record-your-story/question-generator/list
This continuum of life is amazing when we step away from our busyness to stop and think about where we are along life’s time line. The many choices and decisions we are making now in our businesses, organizations and families will have consequences to some one, some place, some time, further down the road. Who knows how our perspective on today’s problems might shift, if we found ways to become more informed about our collective past.
Legacy. It’s an awesome responsibility and a tremendous opportunity.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” – Benjamin Disraeli
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: For more about Story Corps and its amazing work, see: http://www.storycorps.org/
REPRINT OPPORTUNITY: The Take A Break booklets have been wildly popular! Perhaps there’s a place for them in your organization. It’s only taken four months to sell out the most recent print run of two thousand Take A Break booklets. I will be reprinting ‘TAB – 67 Ways To Pause When You Absolutely Positively Do Not Have The Time’ again in the next couple of weeks.
These booklets are being used by clients for: conference and event give-aways, corporate wellness initiatives, orientation packages for new employees, EFAP libraries, coffee room reading, and gifts for clients, staff and colleagues. See Reader Writes below for one individual’s testimonial to the value of the Take A Break booklets.
At this time of reprinting, I’m delighted to once again offer specially reduced pricing for quantity orders with your corporate message imprinted on the front cover. See this two page pdf ( http://www.pauseworks.com/take_a_break.pdf ) for a look at the cover with sample imprint, and for custom pricing info on orders. Call me (877-728-5289) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fax your order form to (306-242-0795) if you are interested in putting these great ideas in the hands of people who matter most in your world.
READERS WRITE: Pause reader, AJ writes: “I am pressing pause for the third summer in a row. I have scheduled every Friday off for June, July and August. It is a delicious way to extend the week-end for extra rest and enjoyment of garden and family/friends. We take our vacation in the winter so these summer week-ends are wonderful.”