photo by Don Rutledge
Memories are very essential in our lives because they allow us to grow and learn to be a better person. Our recollections can teach us very important life lessons, demonstrate skills and abilities and can make us feel happy and entertained.
By having memories, we will know what is right and what is wrong. We can remember where we did our mistakes and learn from it.
We have birthdays as a way to celebrate and remember the year that has past and the clean slate we have going forward.
Wedding anniversaries are where we gather with our friends who helped us in our journey. We are able to celebrate because our friends and family helped us through those moments where it was difficult and also the times that we celebrated.
I loved that at Chick-fil-A corporate offices they celebrate work anniversaries. Every 5 years they celebrate. On your 20th anniversary there is a big party thrown by your department. One of those traditions is getting a cartoon drawn of you and surrounding you are things you are known for contributing to the brand.
Now my mentor Don Rutledge helped me to understand how important photography plays in mankind. It helps capture moments and tell stories. Sometimes we need to be sure we are capturing our own stories and our families.
Maybe when you were in school your english teacher assigned you to read “Black Like Me”. My mentor Don Rutledge traveled with the author John Howard Griffin in 1955 as he did his research for his book. He photographed him when he took drugs and using makeup transformed himself from a white man to a black man to be able to write about what it was like to live as a black man in the south.
I did my master thesis on Don Rutledge. If you want to read it here are the links to the chapters of the book:
- Master’s Thesis on Don Rutledge: Chapter One
- Master’s Thesis on Don Rutledge: Chapter Two
- Master’s Thesis on Don Rutledge: Chapter Three
- Master’s Thesis on Don Rutledge: Chapter Four
- Master’s Thesis on Don Rutledge: Conclusion
I gave a copy to Don. Just before Don retired he was having mini strokes that were affecting his memory. After he retired he had a couple major strokes and he couldn’t remember very much. When I would call to talk to Don, he told me over and over how much he appreciated the work I did on telling his story. He was reading it over and over to help him feel good about his life he had lived, but couldn’t remember. Here is an article I wrote for NPPA News Magazine.
Now while you might not be photographing or creating videos of content that goes onto a newspaper, you are recording history. Sometimes the most important documentation is that of your family and friends. I have been doing this for our family.
Here are examples of photos of my daughter through the years
We all need to remember our past, the good and the bad. We celebrate not just the good times, but that we pushed through and overcame adversity.
Remember if you are a leader that you celebrate those who work for you. Celebrate those work anniversaries. Remember to tell those stories of how your people overcame obstacles and grew and helped your team grow.
I believe one of the best ways you can celebrate is through using photos and videos to play back some of those memories. Sometimes for us to “Seize the Day” we need to remember we did it before.