Back To The Future…
I love the start of a New Year for the nostalgia and introspection it inspires. I have a tradition on New Years Day of reflecting on where I’ve been, the people I’ve met, the experiences that mattered and the lessons learned; the cumulative effect of victories won and wisdom gained along the way that I can take with me moving forward. Each year I seem to journey to a different time and place…
I used to have a television program on PBS 39/WLVT called “A View from the Valley”, of which I was quite proud. It was a “live to tape” show shot with no script and broadcast a day or two later with no edits. What happened in the studio was what you saw on the screen, just not in real time. I suppose if someone had used a bad word or keeled over in their chair we might have stopped the cameras but it was never necessary. I was the executive producer and on-air host. The program aired for five years and I loved every minute of it.
With more than a little help from my friends like Mike Bruckner of Muhlenberg College and James Harper from Lehigh University and other well-connected PR & communications buddies, I had the opportunity to interview the likes of erudite and charming Gennady Gerasimov, former spokesperson for Mikhail Gorbachev during the end of the Cold War; the magnetic and dynamic former Prime Minister of Israel, Shimon Peres; and Nobel Peace Prize winner and former President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias, who was the only human being I’ve ever encountered that I thought actually had an aura around him…an other-worldly light and energy. Such renowned leaders made for great interviews that to this day hold up when I see them…and when I see me.
Beyond my little walk down memory lane, the point of this exercise is how impactful it can be to look back on ones younger self in action. Not just a one dimensional photo or an often blurred memory, but a walking talking avatar of an earlier version of you. Such a journey can be rejuvenating, or not, but either way I promise it will be enlightening, and isn’t enlightenment what we’re striving for.
Not all of us have taped evidence of our more youthful “I can conquer the world” self to propel us in to a New Year. If you don’t, you can still take that journey in your mind. Call up the image of you that believed in luck and miracles and immortality; turn them loose to dance across the room and in to your dreams with wild abandon. Then tomorrow, tuck them in your pocket and venture forth in to the New Year.
Wishing you the blessings of health, happiness, and love, and the wisdom of the past, in 2013.