You may have wondered what happened to my promised blogs from RootsTech 2018, well a few “gremlins” got in my way, so here is my summary of my experiences of Thursday.
An inspiring talk by Brandon Stanton kicked off Thursday’s proceedings. In all honesty, I had never heard of this remarkable man or of his blog Humans of New York but his keynote speech was both inspiring and moving and I will be joining his followers on Facebook.
After dropping out of college and a not having any focus or purpose in his life for a period, eventually he returned to education, obtained his degree, found a job. This gave him the status, money and material possessions which many crave. However, life had an unpleasant surprise in store and like so many others at the time, when the recession struck, he lost his job. Again, the time had come for him to rethink his life.
Having always been a keen photographer, he eventually decided that he wanted to try and do something with his passion and he took his dream and made it a reality. He did not wait for the perfect idea to come along, by a process of trial and error it finally evolved into the successful career he now has.
In itself, that is not such a remarkable story, many people have taken their dream and turned it into reality, but what resonated so strongly for me personally, was how he realised the need for each of us to take time to listen to what other people needed to say. REALLY listen. Not to think about life in terms of me and my own status in life. During my own working life prior to my retirement, I spent almost 30 years working in the voluntary sector. My work involved talking to and listening to, people who were facing some sort of problems or crises in their lives. Often by being able to talk to a complete stranger, the problem became more manageable for that troubled individual and by suggesting what options might be available- the individual concerned was empowered to take back control of their problem.
Listening, really listening to our fellow man, showing concern, makes a real difference.