Monday, September 6, 2021

Announcing: Been There Voices ... stories of wisdom from women who have lived long and learned much

From diversity comes wisdom

"I wanted a perfect ending. 
Now I've learned, the hard way, 
that some poems don't rhyme, 
and some stories don't have 
a clear beginning, middle, and end." 
 -- Gilda Radner

Few of us have fiction-perfect stories; all of us have struggles and joys, lessons learned, lessons forgotten and learned again. What we have after decades of surviving the ups and downs of life is Wisdom. Hard-earned wisdom stories that can be shared with others and, possibly, help them on their own journeys. 

The purpose of Been There Voices is to create an ongoing series of stories and thoughts from a diverse group of women who have lived long enough gather wisdom and are caring enough to want to share what they've learned. 

To start the ball rolling, I invited several women friends who have had varied lives to join a loosely defined process of sharing our stories and our wisdom. The ball is rolling slowly as we gather biographies and ideas into the Been There Voices tab shown at the top of this blog. Click here to meet the women who are sharing their stories.

Early in the pandemic, Barbara Gaughten-Muller, one of the voices of this project, invited me to be a guest on her peace podcast. It was a chance to share some of the thinking I had been doing about gratitude and generosity and their role as two sides of the same coin. I had been fascinated by so many of the pandemic scenes: generosity -- a pianist playing to Venice from a gondola -- and greed -- people stripping store shelves of toilet paper -- and how those actions related to feelings of gratitude.

Barbara suggested I use the podcast in the opening announcement for this new group as an introduction to me as well as to this fledgling process of increasing the number of us who are sharing our wisdom. 

We women who have reached the wisdom stage of life (and some reach it earlier, or later, than others) now live in a world which offers us multiple opportunities for sharing the lessons we've learned; however, sometimes we forget how much wisdom we've gathered, how much we've survived and how we have thrived.

These strange and challenging times desperately need wisdom. I hope we can be an example of shared wisdom and encourage others to tell their stories whenever possible. It is through story that we share our human connections as well as our collected wisdom.

Click here to watch

Please join us … please share your own wisdom in the comments section, or if you would like to be a guest contributor or a contributing member, please send an email to jwycoff at me dot com.

A question and a thought for you:

How might you tell your story ...
and to whom?

"Our species thinks in metaphors 
and learns through stories." 
-- Mary C. Bateson

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