#9--69 Things I've learned--The cliche about the apple not falling far from the tree doesn't have to be right
#11--69 Things I've learned--Read your Rick Steves' guidebook before you leave on your trip

#10--69 Things I've learned--There's life-changing value in listening to people's stories

Picture of the cover of Studs Terkel's book Working
This is one of my favorite books. Stories about real people and their daily jobs.

I'm trying to list one thing I've learned for each year of my life.  As a baby-boomer born in 1946, it means 69 things I've learned.  Actually, it would be only 68 because my birthday is at the end of this month.

As I move closer to finishing out my sixties, I've learned the importance of listening to and reading about people's stories.  I remember when my late mother would tell some pretty amazing stories about her life and how after a while my ears could only make out a blah-blah-blah.  I was too young to listen.  And I regret that.

Now, if my mom was still living, I'd be there with my iPhone shooting a video of each and every story.  Such an oral history would become a treasure trove of personal history and lessons learned.

I only have very small bits and pieces of personal history about my father.  Today, I'd be glued to my chair to hear stories about his life.

One of my favorite books is by author Studs Terkel from Chicago.  Many years ago, he took a tape recorder and interviewed ordinary people from all walks of life about their everyday jobs.  Fascinating and thought-provoking stuff.

Why are these stories important?  In a small book, "Overcoming Life's Challenges", it's author Bill Crowder writes, "Life has to be lived in forward motion but can only be understood by looking back."

It's taken me awhile to learn that.