One of my college professors gave us an assignment to do that entailed researching what was going on in the world on the day we were born. As I had returned to college in my 30’s, I was, at any given time, usually the oldest one in the class. So it stood to reason that I would have to dig a bit deeper than my classmates to find out what was going on in the world way back then – or, as my children used to say, in the Stone Age.
I was born in July 1949. Harry Truman was President and we were still feeling the repercussions of World War II. It was the era of the “Fair Deal.” The best-selling books of the day were: “1984”, “Death Of A Salesman”, and “The Martian Chronicles.” Clearly people were as curious about the future as we are today. Box office movies included: “Samson and Delilah,” “The Third Man,” and, “Rope and Sand.” The No. 1 record in the nation (yes, I said record, not MP3 or CD) was: “Riders In The Sky,” by Vaughn Monroe. 1949 was the year we saw the first woman to graduate from Harvard, the country of Siam became Thailand, and, on the very day of my birth, the great Stan Musial and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Brooklyn Dodgers. I share my birthday with the likes of Billy Joel, Richard Gere (be still my heart), and George Foreman.
So what does all this have to do with anything?
The one thing missing from that list of notable events and people was this one: I came into the world. After all that digging and research, that was the lesson my professor wanted us to know. On that hot day in July, at 6:30 in the morning, the one and only “me” came into this world, complete with all of my gifts, and heritage, and dreams, and goals, and with a blank page upon which to write my very own story. There was no one else like me born on that day, or on any day before or after. As my mother was fond of saying, “after they made you, they broke the mold.” And the same is true for you.
There is only one you. Yes, you may have shared a life and a history with siblings and other family members, but, individually, you are a unique and never-before-seen individual with infinite possibilities at your fingertips. How exciting is that? Even more exciting is the fact that, the older we get, the more things there are for us to discover, create, and experience, not to mention all of the moments in history that we have experienced, things we never dreamed would actually come true back when we were reading “1984” and “The Martian Chronicles.” We saw a man walk on the moon. We saw the creation of computers, cell phones, and electric cars. We saw an African-American man become President. How else can we use this gift that is us? I’d say that the world became a little richer the day we were born, wouldn’t you?
This week over on the Home Page, our assignment this week is going to entail a bit more than just a 20 minute writing practice (I bet you know where this is going). Let’s have a blast with this one and, as always, remember to just keep writing.
Peace and blessings.