Do you recall the marvelous film adaptation of "Bridges of Madison County"? Whether one agrees (or not) with its theme ... I was struck by Francesca's son and daughter's reaction upon reading their mother's journals after her death. (We never knew .....)
Her prose seemed effortless -- dreams and disappointments laid bare, as if to say, "This. This is who I was."
Yes, I know "Bridges" is a work of fiction.
But some days ... well, most days, I second-guess my decision to blog....
rejecting ordinary moments as "unimportant" ... or worse, hitting that "publish" button before indulging in a therapeutic cooling-off period! :))
What's it all about, Alfie?
Then ... BAM!!! Out of no-where, I had my answer:
Like so many of you, I'm a huge fan of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series. Like a laser-beam, one story was so (personally) powerful, I wrote the publisher, requesting permission to excerpt a portion*.
She said 'Yes'!!!
So, without further ado ...
The author, Tony D'Angelo, recalls a collegiate Philosophy class ....
"Respond to the following questions by a show of hands," my professor instructed.
"How many of you can tell me something about your parents?" Everyone's hand went up.
"How many of you can tell me something about your grandparents?" About three-fourths of the class raised their hands.
"How many of you can tell me something about your great-grandparents?" Two out of sixty students raised their hands.
"Look around the room," he said. "In just two short generations hardly any of us even know who our own great-grandparents were. Oh sure, maybe we have an old, tattered photograph tucked away in a musty cigar box or know the classic family story about how one of them walked five miles to school barefoot. But how many of us really know who they were, what they thought, what they were proud of, what they were afraid of, or what they dreamed about? Think about that. Within three generations our ancestors are all but forgotten. Will this happen to you?
"Here's a better question. Look ahead three generations You are long gone. Instead of you sitting in this room, now it's your great-grandchildren. What will they have to say about you? Will they know about you? Or will you be forgotten, too?
"Is your life going to be a warning or an example? What legacy will you leave? The choice is yours. Class dismissed."
*From the book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grand and Great
by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Amy Newmark
Copyright 2008 by Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC. Published by Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC.
Chicken Soup for the Soul is a registered trademark of Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.