What Is Your Story?

I belong to a local Optimist club. Please don’t tell me you haven’t heard of the Optimist Club!  Okay, don’t feel bad about that.  Many don’t know such a group exists.  To know more about them visit their website.  They have a great creed.

At times members bring an auction item to raise funds for the club.  Often, the items are secretly kept in a paper bag.  Only an Optimist would bid on something they cannot see!

Life is like a hidden auction item.  We may think we know what to expect but we often are surprised:


  • Betrayed by someone you fully trusted.
  • Getting an unexpected job promotion.
  • The death of a child…your child!
  • Receiving an award.
  • A health problem.

The list can go on.  We see others but we don’t know the contents of their bag.  It’s easy to judge someone when you don’t know the whole story.  Steve Hartman on CBS had a show called, “Everybody Has A Story.”  Steve had the huge U.S. map that contained all of the counties.  He would walk away holding a dart.  Facing away from the map he would throw the dart at the map without looking.  He would then proceed to find out what county the dart landed.  He then traveled to that county, took out a phone book, open it up, and while closing his eyes place his finger on the page.  He would then call that person and asked to interview them.  He would ask them, “What’s your story?  Everyone has a story about their life.  He met some very interesting people who were carrying heavy personal loads with attitudes of overcoming.

There are some amazing people out there who are making a positive difference in spite of their story.  Their story has more elements than we can imagine.  We don’t take time to know each other’s stories, which can lead to misunderstandings, and in some cases violence as we have been witnessing on our streets.

On the back of my police trading card (yes I have my own trading card, but that is another story), is this advice: Surround yourself with good friends, people who believe in you and will serve as positive role models.

Life is an unknown mixed bag. If we knew its contents, we would probably have sorrows mixed with joy; betrayal mixed with forgiveness, hope mixed with despair.  The list could go on-and-on.  The question is, “Who we will let hold the bag?” To whom would you hand over your life?  Who can you trust when you can’t even trust yourself?  The one I’ve handed my life’s mixed bag to God.  Who do you trust with your life? Who do you trust with your story?


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