Tag Archives: sharing with others

Sharing Personal Histories

Vantage Point: The Importance of Our Personal Histories

Recently, I was sitting at a local senior center, talking to several retirees. I asked what professions they were in prior to their retirement, and one gentleman’s answer struck me hard.

He said he was a cartographer, or map maker, but that his skill and history were no longer relevant. I found this most interesting and asked him to give me an idea of what his job was like.

He started to tell me and then said, “But I am no longer relevant to this day and time due to technology.” My first reaction was pure shock and then sadness. This man, who had worked more than 30 years as a cartographer, thinks that he is no longer relevant.

Many of us sitting at the table found this to be the most interesting profession of everyone in the conversation. And as he started to tell us what he did in his job, I could only think how awesome it would be for our younger generation to hear his story.

As he finished up his story, I asked him why he thinks he’s not relevant anymore. He said, with today’s technology, few humans are needed in the creation of maps since they have drones and computers now to do what he and others did “back in the day.”

I reminded him that his history and knowledge were valuable and needed by our younger generations. The skillset needed for his job when technology was scarce needs to be heard. The history of cartographers is still vital and very important, even with the advanced technology that we have.

Everyone at the table agreed with me and joined in my admiration of his profession and knowledge.

Through my work, I have met teachers, chefs, firefighters, coaches, doctors, and now a cartographer. They all have great stories infused with history, skill, and knowledge. It’s also obvious that they loved what they did and want to share their story.

Remembering that we all have value in every part of our lives is important, whether it’s when we are young and working, or when we get older and retire. Our histories are relevant no matter where we are in our lives, and they need to be shared, remembered, and heard by all.

Joy Stanford is a community liaison with Health Alliance, serving Thurston County. She’s been involved with Medicare for 20+ years and truly enjoys it. She enjoys gospel, R&B, and country music, and she owns over 100 pairs of shoes.

The Joy of Laughter

Long View: Take Time to Laugh

I guess we are going to survive another Midwestern winter. They bother me more than they used to, but one of the things that helps me get through them is humor.

Once in a while, my office mate Mervet and I have a problem. One of us will start laughing, and then we both join in, unable to stop. Mervet’s eye makeup starts to run, and I can’t get my breath. We occasionally get to the point of snorting, hopefully not too loud. My grandfather used to tell us kids, “That kind of laugher just added an extra week to your life.” Who’s to say he wasn’t right?

Laughter is part of every culture, and the physical and mental benefits are widely known. I notice laughter comes so naturally, especially to our little ones. I think we have all seen babies express their delight with uncontrollable laughter. Ah, the joy of discovery.

Because the benefits of laughter are so well recognized, I guess my question becomes, why don’t we seek out more opportunities to enjoy it? Personally, I make a conscious effort to bring a little humor into my life and the lives of my loved ones. I have a few well-chosen (appropriate) jokes to tell, and I don’t mind being the clown once in a while. I would always choose to read a humorous book over something serious. I have never spent any quality time checking out a murder mystery or a horror story.

I have an upbeat and typically hilarious circle of friends. I am not sure how that came about, but I think it’s a subconscious decision on my part. To me, good-natured humor is a must. Sarcasm doesn’t appeal to me, but a little bit is OK if it’s clever and short-lived. A coworker told me I occasionally stooped to sarcasm, but I denied it and gave him a silent eye-roll as my only response.

We never outgrow our need for humor. I think all of us have been in a group and seen the infectious nature of one person’s solid belly laugh. I’ve seen it sweep through a crowd on a number of occasions. You probably have, too.

Regardless of the season, I think the best part of humor is to share it with someone else. Mervet agrees and doesn’t seem to mind reapplying her eye makeup every once in a while.

Patrick Harness is a community liaison with a long history of experience in health insurance. If you ask him to pick a color, he always chooses orange, and he is known for his inability to parallel park.