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June 29th 2016
Published: July 7th 2016
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So many pictures to share from today...and I will...but another Facebook novel about a bigger lesson is due....I think I have said before feel free to scroll or block. �ut....here it goes...

Blessed are those with the COURAGE to tell their stories. We each have powerful stories that we silence due to fear of not thinking they are 'enough' or that they're 'too much'....at least that's the truth for me anyway.

I posted in March about the awesome event we had at RMS due to Annelee Woodstrom speaking about her experience of being a child of war in Germany during WW2. She told a powerful story. She has the COURAGE to do so....because she knows in her bones that her story is worth telling. And she believes that by telling her story she can inspire others to strive for peace and to see the humanity in each of us. Her story is full of pain, yet she continues to tell it.

Today, I was awe-struck by an experience to sit with and discuss the effects of the atomic bomb dropped by the US on Nagaski Japan by a man, now 82 who experienced its effects when he was 11 years old. 11. years. old. Close in age to our middle schoolers hearing Annelee's story this spring. I was able to ask him what gives him the COURAGE to continue to share such a painful account of melted bodies, death and finding his father's body amongst ruins. He said he shares because there aren't many people left to tell a story like his and he prays that no one else ever has to experience what he did at age 11. His painful story....keeps on being told.

Next we had a resident of Nagasaki as our tour guide for the day...I asked her why she does what she does. She said she does it because she can...and because the message is important and that it's good for people to remember...but it's also good for HER to remember and to keep telling stories. She keeps telling stories because she knows it's good for her (insert inspiration for reflection).

I have said for awhile (and many others probably do, too) that I love history because it's a collection of human stories. I challenge you to not forget the HUMAN in the story. Everything on the news and statistics that we hear are HUMAN stories. Not 'just' statistics, not just somebody across the country (like we just experienced in FL), not somebody across the ocean or halfway around the world. But humans...with souls...and with stories to tell.

May we all have the COURAGE to tell our stories but even more...may we all have the COURAGE to hear the stories of the souls around us. It's hard to think in statistics when a statistic has a name. We are all connected and our stories are worth telling. No matter what. Your story may not be of World War II, but it may be your own personal war. Tell your story to those who can hear you.


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