old man dies
i came across that proverb this morning and it blew me away.

i remember hanging out with my uncle John Fee [my mom’s british brother] a few years ago when they came to visit us in South Africa and we had met up a bunch of times in life, although i was generally of the seen-and-not-heard age and so we didn’t engage in much meaningful conversation… and then this day he was in the lounge and i popped in to be good mannered and we ended up having a conversation of which some part at least related to intentional communities [we were just about to leave for the Simple Way i imagine] and how they had been going on for longer than just the latest fad book that had come out and inspired me, and proceeded to tell me a little bit about some of the history of intentional community over a much longer period of time than i had presumed.

i remember walking away from the interaction thinking something along the lines of, ‘Man, i have missed out.’ what i pity i never got to really know that man. and since then i have sort of made up for it by befriending pretty much all 80 of his children, children’s children and children’s children’s hamsters [or was it a guinea pig?] on Facebook and keeping them entertained with my very silly Dangerous Things You Can Least Expect videos

the point being, that i realised, although maybe not in so many words, that when Uncle John dies [and hopefully not anytime soon] a whole library will have burnt to the ground.


and how sad will it be if more people have not at the very least paged through and been entertained and taught and inspired by some of the books before that happens.

this feels like something that should be taught to young people at a young age [ask old people their stories!] and feels like it may be something that happened one time with the focus always being on ‘hey, let’s be nice to the poor old people and let them speak to us’ and with a lesser understanding or grasping of the wealth of experience and life and learning that they might have which might inspire and encourage and teach us so much.

i thought a lot of the same things when reading through the autobiography my dad wrote a year or so ago, or every now and then when he whips out another classic unexpected story from his life.

and i am hoping that this all makes me more intentional in terms of taking time to invite people to share their stories with me, in particular, older people who are likely to have more stories… i think we tend to underestimate the power of stories shared.

in terms of the race conversations we have been starting on this blog, i am pretty sure that story-telling is going to play a huge part in heading us in the direction of reconciliation and resitution…

in terms of the Taboo Topics that i try to find stories about on my blog, it is through stories of journeys people have walked that others are encouraged and strengthened and also hopefully inspired to share their own stories with at least someone, if not with us all…

who is the older person in your life with a story you really need to hear? and when are you going to do about it?

old man ii