September 10, 2014
It’s time for the every-so-often publishers notes and featured comments from the last couple of weeks of HeroicStories.
I need your help
After getting off to a rousing start, the number of people subscribed to the HeroicStories mailing list has started to decline.
Some attrition is expected of any email publication: people close email accounts, email starts to bounce, some might decide that they get too much email and others decide that what they’ve subscribed to just isn’t their cup of tea. The current decline is very slow, and I expect quite normal.
What’s missing are new subscribers. Every email publication needs a constant source of new subscribers to make up for, at a minimum, normal attrition. Ideally there’d be a lot more than that, but as I said – in order to say healthy the number of new subscribers at least needs to meet the number that are falling off.
That’s where you come in.
As I’ve said before, the best way to help HeroicStories is to share the stories with your friends, coworkers and families. Be it through email, social media or something else, share the stories and encourage them to subscribe.
It’s what HeroicStories needs to thrive and stay alive.
On to some of the comments on the stories of the last few weeks….
John shared: “People often mis-understand motorcyclists. Their impressions are usually based on what they see in the movies. Most motorcyclists are really very friendly and willing to help, if people would only give them the chance.” – Indeed. Just this weekend I was a volunteer at a charity event where a local Harley club was also a major presence helping to facilitate the event.
Mat says: “Years ago I was on my way to bow hunt and passed a young lady standing next to her car with a flat tire on a highway south of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I turned around and got her tire changed, no big deal I thought but I noticed that she was clutching a little collapsible umbrella the whole time. I didn’t put it together until the next day: Me, tall and white, dressed in camouflage head to toe, driving a pickup truck in redneck America. Her, smaller, black, stuck on the side of the road with traffic whizzing past completely ignoring us. We talked a bit while I was working. She might have been a year or two older than my daughter. I hope I poked a hole or two in whatever preconception she may have had.” – I think one of the best ways we can change perceptions is simply by being good examples – sounds like you’ve got it down, Mat. 🙂
Jo comments: “Bless you, Justin, wherever you are! You did a wonderful act of kindness by helping this lady and her baby, when the tire blew. I hope you’re having a great life!”
Butch says: “Wow this one made me seep quite a bit of water from around the eye region. Is it OK to post on my Face Book page.” – Absolutely! You’re always welcome and encouraged to post links to HeroicStories on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or whatever helps get the word out! You’ll find that there are sharing links underneath every story on the web site. (What’s not OK is to copy/paste or republish an entire story without asking.)
Joy commented: “So glad you are back with these heart warming stories, and this is no exception. […] parents must have thought they were doing right for him, yet stories like this tell us that is not the case. Nobody can really know what is right for us but ourselves. Thanks” – It’s easy to look in hindsight with today’s values and question decisions made in the past, but I agree with you completely – I’m certain that the parents were doing what they thought was best. (The comment mentioned Frank’s parents, but it was in fact Bette’s that prevented the marriage.)
Audrea reminds us: “Thank you. When I read stories like this, I no longer sees the world as large and threatening. I cried, but they were tears of emotion, a mixture of joy, sadness and thankfulness.” – Wonderful to hear – this is exactly why HeroicStories exists.
Bill give us some important information: “People who are drowning often don’t call out, or often show any signs (to the untrained eye) of drowning. Mario Vittone, a retired Coast Guard rescue swimmer and expert in the field of water safety, has a great article, ‘Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning,’ that should be read by anybody who goes near any body of water: http://mariovittone.com/2010/05/154/” – A very important read, thank you Bill for sharing it.
Kerry shares: “Something similar happened to me in the 1970s when I was about 7 years old. We were swimming in a man-made lake in Central Massachusetts. I was the one who could not swim well and my friend encouraged me to hold onto her shoulders as we waded out over our heads. I thought because she was older, bigger and a good swimmer that she knew what she was doing. She wasn’t strong enough to support both of us, and we went under. She panicked and used me as leverage to get her head above water. Thankfully, she was able to scream. Oddly enough, neither the lifeguard nor the other swimmers came to our aid, most likely because they thought we were just playing around. Our heroine was a stranger sitting next to my mother on the shore. My mom had frozen in fear but this woman just jumped up, dove in, and grabbed both my friend and I and pulled us out. After everyone had calmed down, my mother went to thank the woman but didn’t get her name. I wish I knew, because I would thank her again.”
Anna says: “What a wonderful story of friendship and giving! And it shows that being someone’s hero often doesn’t require extraordinary means or effort. You can be someone’s hero by recognizing and helping to fill a need.”
Shan says: “Just exactly what I needed tonight.” – I love hearing that.
And an update from the author, Betty! “Thank you for re-cycling my story. What a friend Dorothy was. She is now in a nursing home. But, she was the BESTEST. God Bless Her, and all who try to make our way a little smoother and easier. Again, thank you. I am truly humbled by her friendship.”
Jane comments: “From what I’ve read, Leo, you’ve put these stories on an automatic posting. How timely considering who just passed away, talk about going in style! I’m hoping for this courage as well. Yessssss, enJoy.” – Yes, the stories are pre-scheduled. This story posted the week of comedian Robin William’s passing, and I agree – seems particularly timely.
Colyn says: “There are many things out of our control, but how we react is all on us. What a great thing to share this with all of us.”
Rober shares: “I am fortunate to have known a man much like Ray; I met Him late in life. He lived a life most would envy. However; Most of his life was filled with work and high achievements, Much to busy to enjoy the fruits of his labor. The part of his life I knew was totally differant, all about giving joy and hope to others, and boy how he gave it, Prior to his death, which was totally unexspected. He gave the vast sum of his wealth to various hospitals, colleges and other charitable organizations, Totaling 10’s of millions of dollars.. While doing his best to keep it all a secret. His business, He gave it to his employees. who sold it soon after. But the Man had no regrets. He told them they made the business what it was and it was theirs to do with it as they desired. It seemed He received more joy giving most of it away, far more than earning it. Till the end, He; (like Ray) EnJoyed giving away a legacy much more than if He had received one.”
Serendipity adds: “Beautiful story!!! Thank you ” – You’re very, very welcome. 🙂
Publisher Comments: What about “but…”
We’ve been at this for just over a month now. It’s been fun and rewarding to see HeroicStories going out again (well, all except for that declining subscriber count, that is 🙂 ).
I’ve noticed a trend in the comments, and I’m not sure what to make of it.
Remember that HeroicStories is all about the assumption that people are basically good, and that the majority of their actions come from a good place. Telling stories relating those good actions not only reminds us, but also hopefully inspires us to take more notice of our own actions, and take the initiative to do more good ourselves. The stories and our actions then become examples and a small part of making the world a better place.
However I keep running across comments of the form:
“good words about the story, BUT, questioning some aspect of the story”
It’s almost as if people can’t let a story of goodness go without looking for something to criticise. It’s not uncommon for such a comment to make an assumption about some aspect of the story – an assumption that is, in my opinion, unwarranted if we really believe that people are basically acting out of goodness.
Am I off base? Visit these notes on the website and leave a comment letting me know if I’m seeing things that aren’t there. I’d love to be reassured.
While you’re there…
The “co-conspirator” thing
One of the things that, to me at least, is missing from this re-boot of HeroicStories is the tag line that the former publisher Joyce used to use: “Co-conspirator to make the world a better place”.
I know that that line resonated with a lot of people. Unfortunately I’m not one of them, mostly because of the word “conspirator”. I may be over-thinking it, but a conspiracy, almost by definition, operates in secret, and there’s nothing secret about what I want HeroicStories to accomplish. I want it to be out and loud and in full public view!
But I miss having a catchy tag line.
So, once again, visit this article on the web site and leave a comment with your ideas. I have no prize, other than my thanks, and perhaps the opportunity to … you know …
Make the world a better place.
’till next time,