Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Change Your Life -- The Great Listen 2016

Change happens on that long stretch of rough road,
after cruising along, sometimes for miles, or years at a smooth, comfortable clip. It happens after the joy resulting from successfully   weathering   the last stormy stretch. You are thinking to yourself, “Life can’t get any better than this.”   

Change hangs around the next approaching bend. It occurs with   one hand on the wheel, as you are leaning back and counting your blessings.   You round the curve, even hold your head up, proud to have come so far. “I have arrived. I’ve reached my destination on the happy road of destiny,” you say.

Nothing stays the same. The straightaway becomes a bend.  The weather cools from balmy summer days to wintery blizzards, or thundering nights.  On a bigger scale, neighborhoods evolve, people move.  Everything is forever shifting –– attitudes, feelings, and perspectives. Reform, repair, revision is   inevitable.

When we are young, we are   like the salmon who swim upstream.  We wanted what we want and we strain against the currents of opposition to reach our goals.

Our willful efforts may exhaust us, but the desire to achieve pushes us. When we were young, we stood our ground. We did not back down.

Fighting the forces challenging us, the effort itself changed us, like the river’s path, and we became stronger, like the saplings in the gales.

 Like past generations,   today’s folks and those to come will face transformations of an epic nature as well as the smallest changes, but all significant. Men and women, even children will maneuver their route with its twists and turns functioning only with the knowledge, which we have imparted upon them. 

I believe in storytelling.  As representatives of history, we must share our experiences with those stepping up to take the wheel.

It is my dream that we all relate our victories and our failures, too, in order that our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren may learn how to   stand their ground and not back down. It is my dream that we teach this next team how to respect values and hold everyone in high regard.  However, these upcoming generations need to know what it was like for us, what happened and what it is like now. is a tool to achieve this. Please check out the website and download the app. Interview and record your parents’ experiences strength and hope. These stories will be placed in the archives of the Smithsonian Institute forever. And most importantly, in the process, I guarantee you will discover more and become closer to your family than you could ever imagine –– which just might change your life.

The Great Listen 2016

Books By Judy Howard

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