The Value of Experiences

In this issue we are paying homage to the veterans of this community, though there are certainly many, many more that are going without such public recognition. In the past few months I have had the pleasure of interviewing a number of veterans about their experiences, and it has given me an understanding about the breadth and depth of their individual lives.

Every story – whether it belongs to a veteran or otherwise – is certainly unique. While the veterans I’ve spoken with have each endured their share of trials, that is also true for most civilians, too. What strikes me about each story I have the privilege of hearing is how the individual at its center responds to the challenges life presents them with. I’ve tried to find some commonality, to see if it is perhaps discipline, family connections, faith, character, or personality that determines how someone’s experiences shape them, but there are always too many factors to pin it on any one asset.

What has become clear is that it is the experiences that are important – no matter how challenging or positive they may be. Perhaps it could be said, then, that what matters most is that a life is lived to its fullest extent, and that every opportunity is embraced.