Most of what I know I learned from people who are a head of me on the road of life.  They look back at the path I am on and point and say… “don’t trip on that stick…” or they stand beside me and warn … “around that corner there are often animals in the bushes waiting for you to hesitate…”  Sometime the message arrives in peculiar ways, like when a dream wakes you and you SEE things differently.

This morning I was dreaming and, upon awakening, I came to a realisation.  I am a story-teller.  Not that insightful but interesting new information for me.  AND my stories are often comic tragedy.  I tell people about all of the things that go wrong so they can enjoy the story and so that they hope, as I do, it never happens to them.  Tragically things do go wrong for me. Too many things….  The air travel stories I could tell….  The hotel stories ….  The training stories ….  All based on strings of events that lead to outrageous situations  where I become the tragically funny victim. 

Time for a change …  The flip side of those stories is equally entertaining and true.  I have travelled to wonderful places and had many “pinch me” moments in my travelling and during my training events in many places.  Those are the stories to be told.  I here by pledge to resist the one-upmanship of telling a worse tale of woe than the person who is complaining to me and to never use the words “That’s nothing… do you know what happened to me???”

No more victim stories. No more villain stories either … you know … the ones where you get even.  I tell those too.  So no victim or villain.  That only leaves hero stories.  I feel my neck tighten as I write that.  My experience in our society has made the hero story something that is told by others.  It is uncomfortable and yet very necessary if you are to be successful in this world. 

One of my strongest mentors is my cousin Joan who recently retired from the Senate of Canada.  Once while I was visiting her in Ottawa, I listened while she had a conversations with a Cabinet Minister.  As we walked away she said to me….”If I don’t tell him what I have done on the Senate Committee, who will?”   She is right of course.  Who beside you knows the contribution you have made? Tell the world.  Tell the good stories. And if you can make it funny … even better.  Let me work on that.