Although some people pretend to find work the most satisfying part of their lives. Or if their pursuit of happiness jumps from ballgame to ballgame or one hunting outing to another, It seems that all their endeavors come back to one thing – people. Relationships during the big game, cyber connections with fantasy football buddies, golfing mates, woman’s club, playing cards, civic organizations, scouts, the other guy in the tree stand 100 yards away after the same prey; the one that got away.
No matter what activity we find ourselves part of, it usually involves other people. People in our lives, no matter how distant; acquaintance or a close friend, spouse, sibling or child; all important relationships.
People help make us who we are and sometimes change who we are. As a child, changing who we are is peer pressure. Later it’s called mentoring. One who realizes they have an abuse problem is usually alerted through an intervention by friends and family. If your religious faith is supported, it is typically by way of church members.
The people on this green earth are, according to most, the most important part of the world – though others feel our relationship with the earth is killing it. Environmental issues and arguments, as well as solutions, are made by people. The consequences of our actions are suffered or celebrated by human beings.
“…The Bible shows us the power of conveying messages through people, it also shows the glory of the narrative – chronological storytelling – for that purpose. After all, it’s got one of the best ledes ever: ‘In the beginning…’” according to writer Walker Percy.
The best storytelling is done through people. Personally I enjoy telling stories about when I was young, about when I was older and when I am oldest. My storytelling always has a personal side to it, sometime all about the person, sometimes a self-deprecating story about me.
“...people hear Beethoven in concert halls, [people talk] over a bridge game, or to relax; people hang Cézannes on walls, reproduced, in natural wood frames; van Gogh is the man who cut off his ear and whose yellows became recently popular in window decoration. Did you know [that?]”
― James Agee
People sometimes put on airs, but I find them interesting too. Their stories are as important as the ones conveyed by the most down to earth, even the quiet among us. Many stories surfaced about the good people who endured Hurricane Sandy.
From Elizabeth: “I was grocery shopping the other day and the cashier and I were chatting, and she told me about an elderly lady who didn’t have enough money for her items. Her card declined. She said a teenager standing behind her paid for all of her purchases.”
People are best in the worst of circumstances. Their stories, in more instances than not, are about others. Some folks are just out to help others conquer everyday tasks.
George Ballas was the inventor of the Weed Eater. He placed lengths of fishing line through holes in a tin can. “He attached the can to the spinning part of a motorized grass edger. The result? A revolution for millions of people who cut grass for a living or just to keep their neighbors happy. George Ballas became known as the “Weed King.” As he once told the Houston Chronicle, “A Weed Eater comes along once in a lifetime.” He was an ordinary guy trying to make life easy for us all.
People do wondrous things, they invent, they help others, they care for their family and coach little league. Sometimes the things they do seem simple. Their stories simple to some, but they are extremely important to others. All people are important. Their stories are important. The things that they do, though not brain surgery or walking on the moon, are nevertheless important when they live in our neighborhood, our town, keep us safe, teach our children or try to do what is good for others or their family.
What’s gratifying for the Village News is telling stories about people, stories about what extraordinary things people do.
A few years ago we counted how many pictures of faces we had in one issue – 80.
We think that everyone is important; it’s a sort of mantra or mission, a model for what Village News does. Local stories may not seem important to everyone, but they are important to those around them who understand that they may have the same challenges as they, have the same successes and similar lives.
Considering that every one of us important, it makes us feel less alone. As Barbara Streisand sung, “People, people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world.”
We need to know that we are important, that our lives are important no matter how insignificant they may seem. Here we chronicle local lives of extraordinary and not so public local people; people whose stories help others to say, “I didn’t know that, did you hear about that? Did you know? Did you know?