I shared the story of Jeff and my blood family. From this point on, I will share stories of the unique people I have known, including children, staff, professionals, entrepreneurs, and their key and exceptional people. Admittedly, I’m not sure where any of this will take me. I accept the challenge because I believe we are all born unique. Even so, few of us can remain unique because our initial caregivers take our voice from us.
So, let me explain what I intend when I use the word “voice.” Our voice is ours, and only ours, never another’s. It is ultimately what we see, hear, feel, and think from deep within ourselves, not what others might see, hear, feel, and think. Our voice is “one of a kind,” and no one else’s.
When those who have created us receive us, they might have all kinds of thoughts about what they would like us to be and become. They want us to be healthy, bright, and, if a girl, beautiful. If a boy, strong and athletic. Or, they are simply thrilled to have and nurture us “to be” whatever and whomever we are and wish to be. In other words, whether they are conscious of this, they want our voice to be our own. So, those I choose to write about are, in my eyes and experience with them, special, unique, and “one of a kind.” Hence, the essays to come.
I believe I am my own self, and I never gave this a moment of consideration in all my past years. As an old man, it’s impossible to avoid. Visitors bring with them their memories of our relationship. However, it’s wonderful to hear what they say about our times together (whether as former campers, staff, leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs, and their key employees). Their perception of me is illuminating because I never stopped to know myself at the time since I was busy working hard to know them.