Writing your life story isn’t about vanity or being egotistical. Rather, it is a way of connecting to future generations and connecting them to you. What would YOU give to read what your grandparents or great-grandparents had to say about their own lives and their experiences?
One thing I ask class participants to do is look back on their life and write about their greatest challenge, who had the most influence on them, what they would do differently if they could, what advice they would give their children and grandchildren, etc. As I mentioned in a previous post, during one of those discussions a woman shared that high school was a difficult time in her life. "I thought I would always be the tallest person in the world," she said, noting that as an adolescent she already was taller than her parents and most of her teachers. Another woman in the class, who had a weight problem as a teenager, commented, "This is good for me. I always wondered if it was just me (who felt awkward)."
I know their descendants of a certain age will thank them for writing about the challenges they faced growing up. Through the openness in their writing, these women were holding out their loving arms to future adolescents in their families, letting them know that their problems are not unique and they are not alone.